Told from the point of Jackie Onassis Kennedy (Natalie Portman) during an interview, Jackie is the story of President John F. Kennedy’s death told from her stand point. Covering the trip to Dallas, the shooting, the death and the funeral, this movie takes us behind the scenes into a highly stressful and emotional couple of days for our former First Lady.
In the same vein as The Iron Lady, Jackie is all about the leading lady’s performance and little about the actual story itself. I’m not saying that Jackie is a bad movie, but it sure isn’t the focal point here. Natalie Portman steals the show, as it was about her anyway, but her performance is on par with Meryl Streep’s Oscar winning performance in the Iron Lady. She immerses herself in the role and makes you forget that she is an actress playing a part.
The only negative I have to say about Natalie Portman’s performance as Jackie is that she is SO ANNOYING! Now, I don’t know much about Jackie Kennedy, and she might have been spot on in her portrayal, but if that is the case, I’m sure glad I wasn’t alive to see Jackie as our First Lady. Holy crap does she get on my nerves! I think it’s the voice that had me so annoyed which strangely reminded me of Marilyn Monroe so that tells me what JFK was into… women with irritating ways of talking!
The movie itself is decent. The beginning is strange as it focuses on her walking around the White House showing off the different areas using that annoying voice, but after that, it picks up with JFK’s death. It follows his death, LBJ’s induction into office, the transition of the personal belongings, the children and what Jackie wishes to do for his funeral. Jackie is so concerned with their legacy after only have been in office 1 year, that she wants to make sure his funeral is one for the ages. In one scene, she asks a man if he knows who James Garfield, William McKinley, and Abe Lincoln were, and the man only knows about Lincoln. These were the 3 other men assassinated in office other than JFK. Jackie doesn’t want her husband to fall through the cracks of history and wants to make sure the people remember him, even if he didn’t end a war or slavery.
At the end of the day, Jackie is all about Natalie Portman’s performance and very little about the rest. For those of you that lived during this time to know the real woman, you can make your comparisons, but I’m sure glad I never had to listen to her. Some of you will find the story of how she made the death of her husband greater than it needed to be, but she had her reasons. I’m glad that the runtime of this film remained on the shorter end and make it manageable because I wouldn’t have wanted to see something over 2 hours. This movie is for the history people out there and I would only recommend this for people who were alive during these events. In other words, I don’t see young people finding this movie interesting. Co-starring Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Nancy Tuckerman, John Hurt, Max Casella, Beth Grant, John Carroll Lynch, Julie Judd, Sara Verhagen and Billy Crudup.
6/10 Stars – The story is about Jackie Kennedy’s influence and push to make her husband’s legacy stand out, and it is Natalie Portman that ends up standing out more than anything… even if she is annoying to watch!