Jackie - SHOWTIMES (2016)


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100 Minute
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Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.

Jackie - Show Times

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Stephen Fitzgerald ( 2017-01-09 )

A Stunning, Psychological Portrait of Glamorous Trama

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been countless biopics of famous figures that deify their subjects and disregard faults in fear of tainting the idol they have so perfectly sculpted. In Jackie, however, Pablo Larrain subverts genre expectations in favor of a haunting psychological portrait of a woman caught in a terrifying piece of history. Famous images of Jacqueline Kennedy in her pink Chanel suit have lingered in the public's collective memory for years, but here, Larrain allows viewers to experience the week following JFK's assassination from the perspective of the woman who held his dying body in her arms. It's shot in an episodic, frantic format that replicates the psychological turmoil of post-traumatic stress as the line between past and present blurs. One ghostly scene in particular - soundtracked by Mica Levi's eerie score - follows Jackie as she wanders the White House in isolation, exploring various rooms and eventually falling asleep alone as a widow for the first time. The film's central performance by Natalie Portman will no doubt gain great attention for its dedication to every last nuance of Jackie Kennedy's mannerisms and voice, but the real success rests in Portman's relentless and layered conveyance of emotion throughout the film. She does not allow the iconic figure to become a one-dimensional reflection of the public's memory, but allows viewers to witness the conflicted feelings of nostalgia, grief, isolation, and tenacity that Kennedy experienced. The film successful solidifies the lingering of Kennedy's melancholic face as a fleeting vision set across the 60s horizon, luminous and bruised at once, but enduring through history.

Howard Copeland ( 2017-03-28 )

One major caveat, but this is an Oscar sure-thing for Natalie Portman

I saw this at one of my rare non-balcony screenings at this year's TIFF with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who had another film at the festival, the Spanish language NERUDA) present and available for a post-screening Q & A. ..

Penny Mclaughlin ( 2017-03-02 )

Natalie Portman Astonishing as the Grieving First Lady --

Venice Reports by Alex Immediate reaction to Portman's JACKIE Alex Deleon {}. Premiere at 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Natalie Portman simply Astonishing as the Grieving First Lady. Viewedon Thursday morning, Venice Day 8, at the massive Aerdrome hangar-like Sala Biennale. Incredible Natalie Portman as Newly widowed wife of JFK is a shoo-in for Best Actress Oscar in Feb. 2017. She had the accent (fey debuttantish speech style during White House tour) absolutely down pat to the point where it was eerie -- but also the supreme dignity and composure after the shooting. All nails hit squarely on the head by Chilean director Pablo Larrain backed up by American Producer Daran Aronofsky. This incredible film gave me the shivers at several points -- Shivers of historical recognition reviving my own reactions to the events at the time. Portman is just unbelievable!! -- She got so deep into Jackie's skin that physical resemblance or lack of it was totally by-passed and rendered irrelevant. She captured the Soul! ~~ After this she stands alone as the Next Big Hollywood Diva. All backup roles also perfect, notably Billy Crudupp as the respectful but in-digging reporter whose interview with Jackie frames the story. A clever scenario device that provides a Kane-ish touch. Ends with the feeling that Ms. Kennedy will do anything to preserve the White House as Camelot legend. This picture preserves the Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy legend in spades. PS: Noah Oppenheim was awarded a Best Scenario Silver Lion on Venice awards night.

Leah Hayes ( 2017-04-07 )

goes beyond a 'biopic' and into the realm of epic, deeply-felt tragedy

This may not be directed by Darren Aronofsky, only produced - kudos of course goes to Pablo Larrain - but it has the texture and 16mm feel of one of Aronofsky's low budget, hard-edged and cripplingly emotional gems, and Natalie Portman gives every ounce of EVERYTHING she's learned as an actress and puts it all into this performance. This is like Raging Bull great. You hear the term 'tour de force' bandied about by critics looking to wag themselves off, but this is legitimately one of those. It's also an acutely aware film about politics and perception, that even in the face of one of the massive national tragedies in the US history, it's important to remember what to (or not to) say to the press, to conform to an attire, to show or not show off the kids, and to hide the tears or let go when necessary. ..

Penny Mclaughlin ( 2017-02-20 )

Both Portman and Jackie Beautiful in Subtlety

I saw this movie at TIFF and haven't been able to get it off my mind since. Natalie Portman is brilliant in her portrayal of someone who is both uniquely strong-minded and painfully insecure. The portrayal of this type of personality at a time (the 2-3 days following JFK's death) where personal and national perception was everything is unlike anything I have seen in film. Between script, art direction and cinematography, this movie is equally brilliant in its ability to say everything without saying anything. I can't recommend this movie enough. I don't doubt that we will be talking about it come Oscar season.

Lynn Turner ( 2017-04-01 )

Tedious Style Over Substance

There's nothing groundbreaking about using the camera to express the point of view of a character, and using movement and cutting to express the mind state of that character can hardly be considered novel. Occasionally an auteur furthers this idea into a more all-encompassing subjective style, where every filmmaking element pulls the viewer deeper into the psyche of a character. This more rare movie-jazz sometimes works, as it did in Don Cheadle's staccato Miles Ahead, or in Adam McKay's rapid fire The Big Short, or with amazing fluidity in Iñárritu's Birdman. Sometimes however, it fails spectacularly, as it does is in Pablo Larraín's tedious Jackie. In depicting one of America's most devastating events and reopening one of its least healed wounds, one would think it nearly impossible to not elicit sympathy, but this is exactly where Larraín flops. While Natalie Portman's portrayal of the dethroned queen of Camelot is convincingly in shock, it never rises to the level of genuine empathy, even in what could've been heartbreaking moments with her children. Instead, Jacquline is forever at arm's length - distant, cold, and calculating. Peter Sarsgaard is disastrously cast as Bobby Kennedy, and he plays the role without a drop of compassion. The film is bookended with an absurdly static and unnecessary interview between Jackie and a journalist, played by Billy Crudup, during which neither could be more opaque. One gets the feeling that within Noah Oppenheim's script, there may have been an opportunity to make a movie full of heart, but instead Larraín obsessively chooses style over substance, technique over humanity. Jump cuts here, repetition there… make me care, he did not.

Leah Hayes ( 2017-01-08 )

Boring, Slow and seriously terrible musical score

Admittedly I have never been much of a Natalie Portman fan. That being said, I think it was pretty ballsy of her taking on an American icon, and her work, particularly in trying to get Jackie's "breathless" voice, is commendable though NOT Oscar-worthy. Just too many long camera shots - five minutes to watch her from behind walking through rooms of the White House...several times I caught myself yawning. The expressionless face of Billy Crudup as the interviewer - yawn again - and absolutely abysmal minor chords pretending to be a movie musical score, more jarring than anything on screen. Having just watched The American Experience's terrific RFK documentary a week or so ago, I was struck by why the director would chose a fifty-something, tall, heavy-set actor to play a 34 or 35 year old slim-ish, not very tall Bobby Kennedy - the actor showing almost no emotion at all when Bobby was known to flair up, shout, and when moved, express his emotions. The reason I give this a 3 instead of a 2 is the lovely performance by John Hurt as the priest. I did not recognize him until the last scene.

Jordan Alvarado ( 2017-01-17 )

Mesmerizing, dreamlike, and powerful.

I'm not really familiar with Pablo Larraín's work. I hadn't seen any of his other films prior to watching Jackie. And yet I was still very excited for it because it sounded like something that was absolutely my cup of tea. Hearing reports that Academy members weren't liking it very much, and then hearing exactly why (because it wasn't your usual biopic and seemed to be more "out there" than most biopics) just got me more excited. It didn't disappoint at all. It was basically everything I wanted it to be. One of the finest, truest character studies of the year, completely driven by explorations into Jackie Kennedy's psyche. That sounds kind of pretentious, but I do think this film more than any other of the year deserves to be described that way. I would absolutely not be surprised if the Academy doesn't go for this at all, but I do wish it was popping up in more critic awards than it has been. More than any other film of the year it rests completely on its lead actress. Portman is just completely engaging and mesmerizing, and she adds to the film's poetry-like storytelling. Having seen both Portman and Emma Stone, I would be surprised if they gave the Oscar to Stone simply because Portman is basically her entire film and she's also completely immersed into the character in a way that Stone doesn't need to be. The latter's role may just be too light. Regardless, it's a performance to be talked about and remembered. I appreciate when I leave a film feeling as though there's still so much left to unpack and to uncover about it, meaning that I wasn't able to completely discover all of its aims and goals in one viewing. To me that's the sign of a very well thought out film, a film that will leave a lingering impact. That's exactly how I came out of this. I'm sure not everyone here will take to it, but count me as one of its fans.

Matt Bridges ( 2017-01-21 )

More of an indulgent fantasy than a biopic

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lindsay Buchanan ( 2017-01-13 )

Myopic not biopic, aka Seabiscuit the Sequel

I've seen many critics and commentators praise Jackie for being an accurate, intelligent, and insightful depiction of Jackie Kennedy and I'm a bit flabbergasted by this. This film came across to me as highly speculative, overly melodramatic, and distant all at the same time. Many of the film's techniques are praiseworthy, but this ultimately doesn't reach the level of a biopic like Patton or Malcolm X. ..

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