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By now, you may have already seen the movie Jackie in theaters. If not, during this movie review, there may be a few spoilers which I will divulge to give you my honest assessment of the movie Jackie. The movie is based on the unfortunate events surrounding and including the demise of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy with a focus on Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, who was the elegant First Lady of the United States.
Surprises in the Jackie Movie
Spoiler Alert: The story is told in the format of a reporter interviewing Natalie Portman who is playing the role of Jackie Kennedy. As Jackie tells her story, the movie flash backs to show those events. The spoiler is that right off the bat, the audience finds out that Jackie smokes. Personally, this was one of my biggest surprises in the movie, since I was not aware that she was a smoker. I think the director went to great lengths (maybe too great) to show Jackie smoking cigarettes in quite a few scenes. I felt like he wanted to make the point that she smoked; however, after the umpteenth time seeing Natalie Portman perform this activity, I felt that he went overboard.
One other surprise was how much the actor who played John F. Kennedy, did not look like him at all. However, the focus of the movie was Jackie, so this, in my opinion, was a minor oversight.
Authenticity of the Jackie Movie
Choosing Natalie Portman to play Jackie was excellent casting, since I think not only did she closely portray the actions, emotions, and looks of Jackie, but she also showed through the movie screen that there was a special aura about Jackie. The movie depiction showed Jackie was determined to show an accurate depiction of herself as the First Lady, and went through a lot of effort to make sure John F. Kennedy was displayed in a dignified way as well.
I liked how she was animate about showing how she really looked during the aftermath of the events --with no sugar coating. I also liked that even though she was in fact a widow the moment John F. Kennedy was unfortunately assassinated, she kept the persona of being the First Lady with her then, and in the years to come. To the director’s credit, I think this depiction of Jackie was right on point.
On the flip side, I think during some of the flashbacks, the director missed showing scenes that are iconic now -- maybe not back then in the 1960’s. For example, the part that a famous starlet by the name of Marilyn Monroe played in John F. Kennedy’s life was missing. Of course, this would have taken the focus off of Jackie herself, and maybe this was not done because at the time she was not aware of this happening. But again, maybe out of respect, this segment was left out.
Another omission that could have been displayed maybe at the end of the movie was a sense of what happened to Jackie since the years after the events shown. Again, it's possible the director wanted to stay focused on just the period around what happened then; but I think, some creativity could have been used to show a glimpse of her life as well as her many accomplishments after that time.
Jackie’s Tour of the White House
One of the major events during the movie was the gracious and elegant way Jackie gave a tour of the White House, in addition to the other happenings in the movie. You may want to check out the actual tour that Jackie gave of the White House and compare it to the movie. You will find there are some similarities between the two; however, you may wonder if the assistant shown regularly in the movie truly played a pivotal part in helping Jackie. I got the impression that Jackie knew exactly how she wanted to be presented and delivered nicely.
Assessment of the Jackie Movie
Personally, I wish Jackie was shown in a much more positive light. Sure she was a smoker and she needed help from her assistant, but I think her independence as a woman who has suddenly lost her husband was not illustrated to the audience. Sometimes, when I watch a movie and there are strong positive messages, I leave the movie feeling inspired. That was not the case after I watched this movie. However, I was satisfied the movie was made in a way to honor Jackie.
Jackie showed that resilience is possible after major setbacks and that self-pity serves no purpose in lifting one’s self up. It’s unfortunate this message was not illustrated on screen to a greater degree. On a positive note, I think the movie showed that Jackie was an outstanding woman, wife, mother, former First Lady, decision-maker and was able to bounce back with her head held high, even in the face of dire negativities. It is no wonder, that even to this day, the elegance and dignity she displayed during those tumultuous times are still remembered.
Rating of the Jackie Movie
Based on a rating of 1 star to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate Jackie, the movie 3 ½ stars.