‘I never wanted fame. I just became a Kennedy’
Jackie is an Oscar winning film about the life of John F. Kennedy’s wife Jackie (played by Natalie Portman) after JFK’s assassination. The film also stars Billy Crudup, Caspar Philipson and also John Hurt in one of his last roles before his death.
I was aware that this movie was Oscar bait, so out of curiosity, I watched it to see what the fuss was about. I am also a fan of some of Natalie Portman’s work, so that was one of the many other factors. It is fair to say that I was not exactly disappointed, but I also don’t have any need to watch it again too many times.
Natalie Portman approached the role quite well, and she suited the part of Jackie Kennedy. I think that the costumes looked outstanding, especially the iconic pink outfit and hat that she wore when JFK was shot. A horrifying and particularly haunting scene is when she has her husband’s blood all over her in the car. Of course, Jackie had to go through a lot in her lifetime, that is quite reflective in the film. The film is basically a statement on a feminist approach to Jackie Kennedy’s independence in the wake of her husband’s death. I think that’s where it went wrong. Although the entire film was about her, it seemed to just scream ‘look at me, I’m a strong, independent woman!’ in a rather overbearing manner, though I do respect films that bother to show women in a good light rather than an object. The film also came across as being a bit slow at times as well. I do find it interesting how the only original footage from that time is the shooting of JFK’s assassin. Likewise, some of John Hurt’s dialogue was strangely coincidental as it was about death and he died several months after the release of the film. I also noticed that the scenes where she’s with her husband are generally shown to be a lot brighter than the scenes where she’s mourning him.
Overall, a fairly interesting take on Jackie Kennedy after her husband’s death. The film had great actors, cinematography and costumes, however it felt as if it was going nowhere at times and it was a bit overhyped.