Posted by: greercn | January 22, 2017

Jackie

Pablo Larrain is a genius. I love almost all his movies and I look forward to his originality and changing of film conventions, whenever he bring out a new film. His point of view is unique.

But taking on the Jackie Kennedy story? During the week of the assassination of her husband?

All Americans of a certain age and probably many people everywhere know exactly where they were when President John Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas.

Watching his dignified widow handle her grief, in public, was astonishing. My teachers cried, which would have seemed impossible to me, before I saw it.

In “Jackie”, you get two different stories. One is the framing device, in which Jackie answers questions from a journalist played by Billy Crudup. Never named, he is probably based on Theodore H. White. Crudup is great, as is everyone in this.

Natalie Portman carries this with a layered and brilliant performance. Your eyes stay on her, throughout.

What is most extraordinary is that I remember that voice and that face and yet Portman looks nothing like the real-life Jackie. And you forget that, very quickly, as you are drawn in.

The second story includes detailed flashbacks to the assassination and funeral and time spent during happier days.

The impact of this death on the whole world is shown in contrast to the private feelings of the lead character.

Noah Oppenheim’s script is very good and it’s a refreshing one hour and 40 minutes long. I could have watched more.

While Portman owns the screen, Greta Gerwig and Peter Sarsgaard stand out.

Mica Levi’s soundtrack is lovely, but can be intrusive.

The beautiful theme to “Camelot” accompanies a poignant scene.

Many older people at the Stratford East Picturehouse were in tears. I was surprised by this and didn’t cry.

If Larrain or the Kennedy story fascinates you, do see it.

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Responses

  1. I really loved the music in Jackie and didn’t find it intrusive because it worked in harmony with the film but I did find it bothered me in Manchester by the Sea. I think it’s because whereas Manchester by the Sea purports naturalism and so feels a tad artificial when the music plays, Jackie is entirely about performance – that of Jackie in the face of the press and nation – so the theatricality feels right.

    • I see what you are saying but Manchester By The Sea is about working class people while Jackie is about a very famous icon.


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