Jackie stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Bovier Kennedy, in the days following John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It depicts a woman who is starkly alone, and thrown into a spotlight during the worst days of her life. This movie is beautifully shot and well acted, but it doesn’t tell us anything new about that moment in time. Jackie does, however, offer an interesting perspective, given our current political climate.
Director Pablo Larrain starts by holding a mirror up to the type of politician the world asks for today. There was a time when people wanted to be led by giants among men. If those in power proved to be less than that, it was hidden from the public. Jackie herself famously compared Kennedy’s presidency to Camelot, a reference that (according to this movie) even she didn’t believe. The smoke and mirrors used to protect politicians is what eventually led the world to distrust them. Today, the President Elect has been heralded as REAL, and a MAN WHO SPEAKS HIS MIND, even if it gets him in trouble. He and his future First Lady are quite different from the John and Jacqueline Kennedy we remember, but that might be exactly why they are headed to the White House.
I also wonder if Pablo Larrain thought America would have a female President when Jackie came out. If that was the case, the idea of a First Lady would seem a bit antiquated. Instead, Jackie is a stark reminder of the limited influence women have had over the Oval Office. John F. Kennedy’s legacy, which Jackie and Bobby Kennedy (a fantastically understated Peter Sarsgaard) worried over after his death, is filled with important chapters, like the Civil Rights Movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Jackie, on the other hand, is remembered for her fashion sense and poise. If this movie had been released in the time of a female President, it would have reflected on the days when women had little control over the White House. Instead, Jackie is a reminder that 2017 will bring us another First Lady, who will wear designer gowns and pick out china patterns. –A-
Jackie opens December 2nd and is already considered a front-runner for Best Picture and Best Leading Actress. Find showtimes by clicking HERE.