Saturday, February 25, 2017

Movie Review: Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016) - Directed by Pablo Lorrain; Written by Noah Oppenheim; Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch.

By Kenny Howell

Natalie Portman gives a big performance as the former first lady Jackie Kennedy in this technically beautiful, but slightly empty film.

And I do mean slightly. There is a lot to like about Jackie, and not just Portman's exceptional work. The look of the film from the gorgeous cinematography by Stephane Fontaine to the stunning costume design and set work, is exquisite, and is being honored so in the year end awards.

Despite the elegance, the story itself is pretty simple. It follows the time just before, during and just after the John F. Kennedy assassination in Dallas. It shows how Jackie Kennedy handled the time with grace despite the absolutely traumatic, awful circumstances. She went from having her Camelot, as she termed it, to losing her husband, tell her very young children of the horrible incident and having to move out of the White House on obviously short notice.

There isn't a ton of material to mine here, so Jackie definitely does lag at times. Portman (Knight of Cups) does what she can to carry you through those moments, and she does the majority of it. However, the slow pace doesn't help her out, and you are left feeling that there could have been so much more.

Rating: ***

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