Pearls are always appropriate, but nothing tells the story of fame and loneliness like an Oscar.
I’ve just been to see the film, Jackie, and I’d like to tell you how I feel about it.
Jackie is a very intense and dramatic fim. Natalie Portman is on the screen non-stop the whole film. She does a great job, but so much of Jackie becomes almost claustrophobic.
In spite of her constant presence, I’m not sure if we really get to know Jackie very well, which is a bit frustrating. The film deals with the days leading up to J, F. Kennedy’s funeral after his assassination.
There’s a lot about the Whitehouse decoration, but hardly any aspects of their marriage, family life, or Jackie’s personal life, are mentioned.
We observe a woman who is in a state of shock, and who wouldn’t be when her husband’s brain is splattered all over her skirt? Understandably, she doesn’t show her real self, or the best of herself, and I missed seeing more of the ‘normal’ Jackie.
We know nothing of Jackie the mother, the wife, the daughter, the friend, or the person at all.
She is a woman who is grieving and obsessed with making sure her husband’s funeral is as grand and stately as she believes he deserves.
What struck me most, was her loneliness. She handles everything on her own, except for some help from her brother-in-law, Bobby, and Nancy, her personal assistant at the Whitehouse. She can’t sleep, and is seen to be on medication, chain-smoking, and always on her own.
Of course, there are people around her, but there seems to be no one she can talk to. Where are her friends? family? her husband’s family?
It amazed me that no women were there to hold her hand through the ordeal. Didn’t she have any sisters, or sisters in law, or best friend to hold her hand?
Peter Saarsgard plays the role of Bobby Kennedy. He’s a great actor, and I enjoyed his performance, but although Bobby comes across as supportive regarding Jackie, we know very little about how he feels for the loss of his brother and the dramatic events taking place in the US at the time.
The late John Hurt, played the role of priest, who listened kindly and tried to console her, but although he was helpful, what she needed, was something else, namely, a friendly and loving shoulder to cry on.
Finally, Jackie only tells us what she wants us to know, She insistently tells the reporter, on whose interview this film is based, that certain things disclosed cannot be printed. For example, she tells him that he can’t say she was a smoker. If she’s prepared to lie about smoking, presumably because she thought it would harm her image, what other things might she lie about for the same reason?
To sum up, the film introduces us to an unstable and unreliable woman. whose husband has just been killed. A woman who is mainly concerned with keeping up a brave and stately front for the world to see and history books to record. Jackie is playing the part of America’s widow, because she knows that’s how she will be remembered, and she wants to win an Oscar.
As far as I’m concerned, both Jackie Kennedy and Natalie Portman deserve the Oscar for their outstanding performances. I’d give them 5 out of 5 stars.
By the way, the music score was fabulous. It conveyed sadness, distress, and distortion. Here is a short clip.
Have you seen the film? What did you think?