Jackie - Review
Jackie is a stream of consciousness film that encapsulates the immeasurable loss felt by one of the most iconic women in American history.
Jackie's story is set up simply enough: one week after the fatal shooting of her husband, Jackie Kennedy is interviewed by a reporter. The story revolves around questions the reporter asks her, causing the story to often jump around different situations and days in favor of a traditional linear story. This is much appreciated in a film that is so clearly defined by one event, that the whole movie could have felt like build up to that one scene, but we are shown it very early on, allowing the audience to settle in and see what Jackie has to offer. The non-traditional story is perhaps Jackie's greatest aspect, as it plays the with the viewer's preconceptions of how the events played out, and instead tells them through the eyes of Jackie, as is the point of the film in the first place.
There is only one performance worthy of note here, a first for 4outof5, and that is Natalie Portman's. This is very much a one woman show, as Portman is on screen for the entirety of the film, forcing her to carry the picture through its many disjointed scenes. Portman is magnificent, rising to the occasion and then some. Her performance brought to mind other excellent method actors, as Portman clearly stepped into the shoes of the title character to prepare for the role. Her speech, posture, and looks are all perfectly suited to the woman, making her appear three dimensional. The best part is that Portman plays Jackie like a real person: never one personality, but an always changing, confusing person who the audience never really loves or hates throughout the film. All this to say, Portman is now certainly considered an excellent dramatic actress, at least in my book.
Immediately noticeable from the first frame to the last, Jackie utilizes visual appearance in the best ways. There is a noticeable grainy look to the film, making it feel like a product of the time. Whats more, the production crew went above and beyond to replicate the TV special Mrs. Kennedy hosted, in which she gave America a tour of the White House, painstakingly recreating shots and the same 1960s look to the original program. Not to mention the costumes, which perfectly enrapture the time period's use of vibrant colors and more traditional clothing.
While I won't do this section for every film I review, some are more than deserving, and this is one of them. The score for Jackie is a hulking, breathing part of the film. The film opens with a 20 second shot of black screen, with the vivacious string orchestra playing, setting the chaotic tone from the first moment, and not letting up until after the credits finish. Many of the best scenes are bookended by incredible string backings, adding to Natalie Portman's incredible performance immensely.
Jackie is an incredible film that flew under the radar at the end of 2016, but is undoubtably worth seeing. Natalie Portman holds the film throughout, backed by an eerie score and creative visuals.
Pros - Natalie Portman, The Score, Camera Visuals, Creative Storytelling