In Jackie, Natalie Portman give an astoundingly accurate portrayal of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in the days just after President Kennedy’s assassination. Jackie Kennedy was a quiet beauty with an inner strength and stubbornness that people continually underestimated.
Natalie Portman perfectly captures the stylized, precise, almost-a-whisper way in which Jackie Kennedy spoke . Director Pablo Larrain intersperses actual newsreel footage into the movie with incredible effect.
Despite being in a state of shock after the assasination, Jackie Kennedy fought to make sure that her husband’s place in history would always be remembered. While others wanted a small family funeral in Massachusetts, Jackie insisted on a grand state funeral, modeled on that of Abraham Lincoln.
Jackie shows how Jacqueline Kennedy also managed the press after JFKs death to create the “Camelot” myth of the Kennedy years. Billy Crudup is perfect as LIFE Magazine reporter Theodore H. White whose lengthy interview with Jackie was read by every person in America.
Much of the film is the interaction between the reporter and Jackie, and shows how she was able to manipulate the press in a way that no politician or celebrity would ever be able to do today. Jackie essentially wrote and edited the LIFE story, including the references to Camelot. Amazingly, Mrs. Kennedy gave this lengthy interview only 1 week after her husband was gunned down in Dallas.
Peter Sarsgaard is Robert Kennedy who tries to protect Jackie and also unsuccessfully tries to control her. As always, Peter Sarsgaard gives a masterful performance.
Casper Phillipson is Jack Kennedy, and accurately captures the smooth confidence of JFK.
The script by Noah Oppenheim and the acting of Natalie Portman bring Jackie Kennedy alive as a real person. Not as just a legend or a caricature, but as a actual woman, who despite her youth, was able to show dignity and strength when America needed it the most.
Many First ladies have come and gone without being remembered, but people will never forget Jackie Kennedy.
- We give Jackie our highest rating of Five Stars *****
- Be sure to read all our movie reviews
- Read about Peter Sarsgaard in the independent film Night Moves.
- Read the poem – When Men Wore Hats – a tribute to John F. Kennedy