Fox Searchlight Pictures, LD Entertainment, Wild Bunch,
Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, Billy Crudup, Richard E. Grant, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Grant, Max Casella, Caspar Phillipson
November 22, 1963, President John F Kennedy was shot in Dallas. Jackie (Natalie Portman) Kennedy brings us into her life right after the assassination to portray the confusion, sorrow, fear, and grief that she has to go through during the days and weeks after the event in this fact based docudrama of the days following Kennedy’s death. Without taking a huge chunk of her life, the screenwriter chose just one event. With the unique style, this film is a story told by Jackie to a writer about the events surrounding her husband’s death and burial told after some time passed, but it also mixes this with footage of the famous tour of the White House TV show that was made shortly after they arrived in the White House.
This is a rather interesting story of how it all happened. I was in gym class when the principal broke into the P.A. system and broadcasted the news directly over the speakers so we could hear. I remember the three or four days where nothing was on television other than the news of the shooting, the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, and the funeral procession. I saw hours and hours of people filing past the casket day and night, and rehash of the events on every channel. There was nothing else to do, and it was a bit overwhelming, but a whole country was in mourning. We were also afraid. We didn’t know what would happen next. But Jackie and her two little children lived though it in a time that must have seemed surreal. We never knew what Jackie was doing behind the scenes other than when she would pop out in front of the cameras from time to time. But this movie covered the time in depth, and I found that quite fascinating. It’s heart tugging, and it’s difficult to imagine sometimes, but is is interesting. I couldn’t help but see and hear Natalie Portman though, and it certainly made me painfully aware that we were not watching Jackie. I think she did an excellent job, but it is very difficult to pull off portraying such a well known celebrity as she was. But I have seen other movies that covered Jackie’s life after the White House, but it was the first time I have ever seen someone attempt to pull off those few days where time stood still. And as a child of Camelot, I remember the assassination like it was just yesterday. Well done film, and well worth watching if you’re interested in what happened.
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