Over the weekend, I saw Jackie with my mother. It was a riveting hour and a half and I’m sure it’ll be one of my favorite movies of the year.
I’ve been interested in the Kennedys and their political involvement from the first time I learned about JFK in depth in an American history class in middle school. So, I was already interested in seeing it. Finding out Natalie Portman starred and reading reviews that it was unlike any other work on the iconic couple sold me even more.
It was intimate. That’s the first word that came to mind. The movie begins with an interview at the Hyannis Kennedy Compound and flashes back to the hours and days following President Kennedy’s assassination. Of course, it features all of the most well-known events, items, and people in that traumatic time- the pink Chanel suit, Clint Hill, the burial, the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald.
But it also takes an introspective, natural look into some of the First Lady’s more personal moments, like her relationships with LBJ and Bobby, interactions with her children, knowledge of her husband’s affairs, loss of faith, and distress over the fact that her husband didn’t die for civil rights or something else considered equally important. She grieves his existence and protection as much as she does his legacy, which she struggles with trying to cultivate through his burial, funeral, and post-mortem press throughout the movie.
The costuming and sets are amazing yet not overshadowing of Natalie’s performance, and the rest of the cast is tremendous. I was teary at a few points, like the contrast of JFK’s crisp flag against Jackie’s billowing black veil as his mourners circle around, and beyond inspired through the entire thing. Jackie’s grace, poise, and protection of her family’s reputation and image is awe-inducing.
Go see Jackie. You won’t regret it.