Jackie

(2016)

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Title:
Jackie
Release Date:
2nd December 2016
Runtime:
99 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Pablo Larrain
Writers:
Noah Oppenheim
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy. Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that she created and loved so well.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 73%
IMDb Rating 7.7

Casts

Billy Crudup as The Journalist
Greta Gerwig as Nancy Tuckerman
John Hurt as The Priest
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy
Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Sam Dlugach 5th January, 2017

Tedious Style Over Substance

There's nothing groundbreaking about using the camera to express the point of view of a character, and using movement and cutting to express the mind state of that character can hardly be considered novel. Occasionally an auteur furthers this idea into a more all-encompassing subjective style, where every filmmaking element pulls the viewer deeper into the psyche of a character. This more rare movie-jazz sometimes works, as it did in Don Cheadle's staccato Miles Ahead, or in Adam McKay's rapid fire The Big Short, or with amazing fluidity in Inarritu's Birdman. Sometimes however, it fails spectacularly, as it does is in Pablo Larrain's tedious Jackie. In depicting one of America's most devastating events and reopening one of its least healed wounds, one would think it nearly impossible to not elicit sympathy, but this is exactly where Larrain flops. While Natalie Portman's portrayal of the dethroned queen of Camelot is convincingly in shock, it never rises to the level of genuine empathy, even in what could've been heartbreaking moments with her children. Instead, Jacquline is forever at arm's length - distant, cold, and calculating. Peter Sarsgaard is disastrously cast as Bobby Kennedy, and he plays the role without a drop of compassion. The film is bookended with an absurdly static and unnecessary interview between Jackie and a journalist, played by Billy Crudup, during which neither could be more opaque. One gets the feeling that within Noah Oppenheim's script, there may have been an opportunity to make a movie full of heart, but instead Larrain obsessively chooses style over substance, technique over humanity. Jump cuts here, repetition there… make me care, he did not.

Reviewed by gajill 27th December, 2016

Boring, Slow and seriously terrible musical score

Admittedly I have never been much of a Natalie Portman fan. That being said, I think it was pretty ballsy of her taking on an American icon, and her work, particularly in trying to get Jackie's "breathless" voice, is commendable though NOT Oscar-worthy. Just too many long camera shots - five minutes to watch her from behind walking through rooms of the White House...several times I caught myself yawning. The expressionless face of Billy Crudup as the interviewer - yawn again - and absolutely abysmal minor chords pretending to be a movie musical score, more jarring than anything on screen. Having just watched The American Experience's terrific RFK documentary a week or so ago, I was struck by why the director would chose a fifty-something, tall, heavy-set actor to play a 34 or 35 year old slim-ish, not very tall Bobby Kennedy - the actor showing almost no emotion at all when Bobby was known to flair up, shout, and when moved, express his emotions. The reason I give this a 3 instead of a 2 is the lovely performance by John Hurt as the priest. I did not recognize him until the last scene.

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 18th December, 2016

goes beyond a 'biopic' and into the realm of epic, deeply-felt tragedy

This may not be directed by Darren Aronofsky, only produced - kudos of course goes to Pablo Larrain - but it has the texture and 16mm feel of one of Aronofsky's low budget, hard-edged and cripplingly emotional gems, and Natalie Portman gives every ounce of EVERYTHING she's learned as an actress and puts it all into this performance. This is like Raging Bull great. You hear the term 'tour de force' bandied about by critics looking to wag themselves off, but this is legitimately one of those. It's also an acutely aware film about politics and perception, that even in the face of one of the massive national tragedies in the US history, it's important to remember what to (or not to) say to the press, to conform to an attire, to show or not show off the kids, and to hide the tears or let go when necessary. But more than that, this is a completely devastating study of hu,man grief and sudden, nerve-shattering and paralyzing loss, and what to do in the face of that when things have to get done and decisions made; in that sense this makes for the "biopic" cousin of this year's Manchester by the Sea, though that's almost doing a disservice to use the 'b' word. The task that Larrain and Aronofsky and Portman have is simple but complex: strip away all of the cultural bark off the tree so we're left with human beings up there on the screen. Again, sounds like it should be obvious, but so many filmmaker pump up their characters full of importance so we can't see what is the real tragedies going on (for a comparison, watch something like 2006's Bobby and then come to this). It's not that the filmmakers don't point out the importance of Jackie Kennedy Onassis or the Kennedys in general, but actually it's that they do that AND comment on it in a genuinely intelligent way. It's seeing a woman, a mother, a wife, who has seen her husband's brains blasted out right next to her while in a car, having to deal with that which would be one thing (and man what a thing, like the most WTF thing in a lifetime), but then also having to be a figurehead of the WORLD and being in this big cavernous place like the White House (history is often called into question, from Lincoln of course to the presidents killed that people seem to tend to forget like Garfield and McKinley). So Larrain and Oppenheim just make this a person, first and foremost, and Portman shows both Jackie's sharp intelligence, ability to quickly read a situation, with a little shallowness to image, which is not a complaint, it's to her advantage. So it becomes an intimate, uncomfortable at times (in a good way), deeply felt, sometimes too hard to take, look at what a person, any person, has to do when a loved one is taken away, while there can be little escape from the crushing public image (this often brought into conflict with Bobby Kennedy, a also excellent Peter Sarsgard - he has one of the key scenes questioning what his brother actually *did* that people will remember, ala Lincoln, which, frankly, I sometimes think about myself, that is to say if, I dunno, what if JFK was... overrated perhaps?) This was a shocking and stunning dramatic experience, and the sort of turn from a major star that puts Portman past being a very good, often, terrific, actress and into arguably the major actors of her time. Seeing what she does here is one of the high-points of cinema in a decade - that's how bold this is.

Reviewed by Art Snob 19th September, 2016

One major caveat, but this is an Oscar sure-thing for Natalie Portman

I saw this at one of my rare non-balcony screenings at this year's TIFF with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who had another film at the festival, the Spanish language NERUDA) present and available for a post-screening Q & A. First things first. If you thought Helen Mirren as THE QUEEN, Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, and Meryl Streep as THE IRON LADY gave great, deservedly Oscar-winning performances in biopics, know that Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy gives a performance here that's every bit in their league. This almost makes you wince at the thought of how much talent was going underutilized in all those Star Wars and Thor movies, but I'm glad that they made it possible for her to play a role like this one. Truly out of the park. I can't see this film not picking up multiple nominations. Pablo and the picture should both be nominated, but they'll have a tough time taking home the prizes over Damien Chazelle and LA LA LAND (which I also saw and am sure will be a big hit). The cinematography, editing, set design, and ESPECIALLY the makeup are all first-rate and deserving. There may be a nomination among the supporting players: Peter Sarsgaard is excellent as the thoroughly-broken Bobby Kennedy, and his consideration should benefit from the contrast with his highly-visible role as the head baddie in the remake of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (also seen at TIFF) which is certainly destined for commercial success. (BTW, he's just adequate in that role – no match for Eli Wallach in the original.) About that caveat: The film leaves the impression that there was a national day of mourning the day of the Kennedy funeral, so I inquired of Larrain (who speaks only limited English) why the film didn't address the controversy about the NFL playing a full schedule on the same day. It turned out that he didn't know what the NFL was and had to be informed by the moderator. I didn't really catch his reply, something about things having to go on. Another quibble: The framing device is an interview Jackie gave to Theodore White a week after the assassination, but White is not identified and is played by Billy Cruddup, who looks nothing like him. The familiarity Jackie had with him is nowhere to be found. Misimpressions aside, this is a must-see for anyone with a taste for great acting. Let the aforementioned performances be your guide -- that or a desire to see Portman one-up her Oscar turn in BLACK SWAN.

Reviewed by velvetcrowbar91 17th September, 2016

A Stunning, Psychological Portrait of Glamorous Trama

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been countless biopics of famous figures that deify their subjects and disregard faults in fear of tainting the idol they have so perfectly sculpted. In Jackie, however, Pablo Larrain subverts genre expectations in favor of a haunting psychological portrait of a woman caught in a terrifying piece of history. Famous images of Jacqueline Kennedy in her pink Chanel suit have lingered in the public's collective memory for years, but here, Larrain allows viewers to experience the week following JFK's assassination from the perspective of the woman who held his dying body in her arms. It's shot in an episodic, frantic format that replicates the psychological turmoil of post-traumatic stress as the line between past and present blurs. One ghostly scene in particular - soundtracked by Mica Levi's eerie score - follows Jackie as she wanders the White House in isolation, exploring various rooms and eventually falling asleep alone as a widow for the first time. The film's central performance by Natalie Portman will no doubt gain great attention for its dedication to every last nuance of Jackie Kennedy's mannerisms and voice, but the real success rests in Portman's relentless and layered conveyance of emotion throughout the film. She does not allow the iconic figure to become a one-dimensional reflection of the public's memory, but allows viewers to witness the conflicted feelings of nostalgia, grief, isolation, and tenacity that Kennedy experienced. The film successful solidifies the lingering of Kennedy's melancholic face as a fleeting vision set across the 60s horizon, luminous and bruised at once, but enduring through history.