Natalie Portman Channels Jackie Kennedy in Oscar-Nominated Performance

 

Jackie,  DVD Review by Kam Williams, Jackie Kennedy, bittersweet docudrama, assassination, JFK, behind the scenes, Pablo Larrain, mental stateJackie

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Natalie Portman Channels Jackie Kennedy in Oscar-Nominated Performance

How did Jackie Kennedy feel in the wake of her husband’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963? That is the question explored in Jackie, a picture which paints a perceptive portrait of Camelot’s First Lady by speculating about her mental state during the days immediately following the assassination of JFK (Caspar Phillipson). In that regard, this behind-the-scenes biopic is rather reminiscent of The Queen (2006) which presumed to provide a fly-on-the-wall’s perspective of the goings-on inside Buckingham Palace after the untimely death of Princess Diana.    

Directed by Pablo Larrain (Neruda), Jackie stars Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman (for Black Swan) in the title role. Portman is likely to garner another Oscar nomination for her very convincing impersonation of the readily-recognizable legend. For, she manages to replicate certain expected staples of the Jackie Kennedy iconography, such as the whispery voice and the pillbox hat, while simultaneously plumbing the depths of her complicated soul.

Consequently, we get a sense of the familiar public figure’s internal angst in a variety of situations, such as when she had to break the news of their father’s death to Caroline (Sunnie Pelant) and John-John (Aiden and Brody Weinberg). Or when she was being given the bum’s rush out of the White House by incoming Lady Bird Johnson (Beth Grant), who was already thinking about replacing the drapes before JFK had been buried.

Fortunately, Jackie did have a shoulder to cry on in her hour of need. No, it was not brother-in-law Bobby (Peter Sarsgaard) who thought of her as a “silly, little debutante,” but the Catholic priest (John Hurt) who served as her confidant and confessor. He helped Jackie summon up the strength and courage to accompany her husband’s casket, by foot, in the funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue, despite fears of a copycat assassin.

Her faith faltering, Jackie freely admitted that, “I think God is cruel.” She even wondered aloud whether she might have been better off marrying “an ordinary, lazy, ugly man.” And while Jackie desperately grasps at straws to make sense of her unspeakable nightmare, the most comforting words her supportive cleric can find are “There are no answers in man’s search for meaning.”

A bittersweet docudrama effectively echoing the lyrics from the classic show tune Jackie identified as JFK’s favorite, a week after his passing: “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”   

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for profanity and brief graphic violence

Running time: 100 minutes

Distributor: Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: From Jackie to Camelot; Audio Commentary by Natalie Portman and director Pablo Larrain; and a stills gallery.

To order a copy of Jackie on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI1LA4/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Entertainment

Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank

  Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Film Review by Kam Williams Justice Denied Documentary Chronicles Racist Targeting of Chinese-American Bank Asian-Americans are often referred to as the "model minority" because of their  success in the U.S. despite the existence of discrimination which has crippled other ethnic groups. However, the label has … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Stunning Stenberg!

  Amandla Stenberg The “Everything, Everything” Interview with Kam Williams Stunning Stenberg! Amandla Stenberg first gained recognition for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. After the success of that film, Amandla earned the 2012 Teen Choice Award with Jennifer for Best … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

  Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures have shuffled bass spawning schedules on many lakes throughout the country this spring, but Mark Davis has seen it before, and the veteran Yamaha Pro knows just how to approach the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme

  A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme by Amy Lignor   There are many sports “fanatics” out there who literally dive head-first into an extreme sport in order to get their adrenaline pumping – taking on a sport that comes hand-in-hand with a monumental amount of risk. But for those who are not interested in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S.

  The Hottest Locales for Small Business in the U.S. by Amy Lignor   No, Silicon Valley is not being replaced. However, with the Kauffman Foundation releasing its annual Startup Activity Index last week showing, in detail, trends in U.S. business startups for 2017, it was revealed that California has been booted out of first place. The top spot … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Once Upon a Time Vacations

  Once Upon a Time Vacations by Amy Lignor   Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be … [Read More its Good for You...]