Jackie [2016] ★★½

jackie-posterI didn’t fall in love with “Jackie”, despite an incredible performance from its leading lady: Natalie Portman. It goes without saying that she’s a great actress, and in the case of “Jackie”, her mesmerizing performance as Jacqueline Kennedy is probably the best, and perhaps the main reason to watch this less than perfect film. A lot of movies have already covered the events leading up to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and its aftermath (off the top of my head: Oliver Stone’s “JFK” and more recently “Parkland”). And yet, this is the very first time that we get to see it from the perspective of the first lady: the guilt she felt for not being able to save her husband and the difficult task she had to face to preserve his legacy. Peter Sarsgaard is a perfect match as Robert Kennedy. Billy Crudup is also well cast as a reporter sent to interview Jackie a week after the tragedy. The other standout in the cast is John Hurt (who sadly passed away today at 77), as a priest who spent time with Mrs. Kennedy talking about…ironically…life and death. You may have guessed that the movie has many good parts, but it falls flat on the emotional side in my opinion. What keeps it afloat is the brilliant work of its star. As we already know, Portman goes above and beyond the call of duty to fully inhabit her characters, and her role as Jackie Kennedy is no exception. Director Pablo Lorrain steers her well, but it’s a shame their movie left me wanting more.

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