Let me remind you a bit of who Jacqueline Kennedy really was. She married John Kennedy after he had become a senator and supported him in both Senate re-election and following presidential election. She was an amazing person, who received a lot of interest from media (both positive for her work and fashion choices and negative for the cost of her clothes) and along with JFK they were labeled to be an amazing couple for a ‘TV-oriented era.’ This lady was graceful, shy, elegant and she was one of the first ones to be almost as popular as Mr. President himself.
Okay, now when we have established the borderline, let me get back to business. This was supposed to be a review of an Oscar-nominee movie, but things got messed up. Where do I even begin with Jackie?
You will find yourself diving into the events following the assassination of Mr. President and the main ideas you will get from Jackie’s interview.
Let’s be honest, shall we?
Please, take a second and tell me what can you learn from a biopic, especially featuring tragic events of someone's life? If you are not a sociopath (and I hope you are not) an event like the death of a beloved one will trigger the worst-case scenario. Could you judge anyone by the way they handle their grief? Definitely not. I do realize that tragedy and drama would draw more people to watch a movie, but I’m not really sure that was the greatest idea, as you feel forced to judge Jackie rather that sympathize or admire her.
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy. There is one word that helps describe this performance perfectly – ANNOYING. All those close-ups that were supposed to touch us emotionally and express the depth of emotional altitude of Jackie. Na-ha, not working. Neither was it convincing, nor emotional. Moreover, what was the thing with the accent? It felt fake, and nowhere near to the real voice of First Lady. Her hair wasn't done properly, her accent sounded fake and I don’t know whether she ever bothered to read about the First Lady and her role in the US history. But I'm not sure Portman is the one to blame here. If the script was written in such a way, what was she supposed to do?
Peter Sarsgaard was chosen to play Bobby Kennedy. Bobby was said to be emotional; however, this performance was pale and not interesting to watch, which leads me to an idea that it was rather a miscast than a bad performance itself.
I’m not sure who was responsible for music choices for this movie, but they made some really awful decisions. Half of the movie you have troubles with hearing the words, as the music keeps running, and another half it just puts you to sleep.
Goofs and Missed Moments
I was so disappointed that screenwriters didn't include a moment where JFK Jr saluted to the coffin. This could be a great and tragic juncture, alas no one really cared. Should I even mention such mistakes as plastic packing tape she uses (whereas it wasn't in common use for another 10 years); Crown Princess of Denmark mistake and red roses bouquet when she clearly stated that she was given yellow roses everywhere. And do I have to note that "The Hamilton" restaurant and concert venue weren't built up until 2011? Back in the days, there was a local department store there, named Garfinkles.
This movie is assumed to be a good taste and perfect tempo, taking things slow. However, I tend to think it is more tedious and cloying with exaggeration, leaving the aftertaste of hopeless disappointment.
This movie does not do justice to amazing Jacqueline Kennedy, the woman who was forced to live with trauma and grief, trying to take care of children and establishing the historic legacy of her husband. Okay, this might have been a good movie in terms of a loving wife suffering from a loss of a beloved husband (let’s say a psychological drama of some sort), but this doesn’t honor the great name of Jackie.
The only thing that saves the day is the work of costume and interior designer. But at the end of the day, is it worth spending so much time on something worth so little?