Jackie (2016)

Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie is a 2016 biopic directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Natalie Portman. It is a solid, but inherently troublesome film.

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There comes a time in man’s search for meaning when he realises that there are no answers.

And when you come to the horrible and unavoidable realization,

you accept it or you kill yourself. Or you simply stop searching

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

I liked that the film followed just the assassination of Kennedy and how Jackie dealt with it. That decision led to a much more focused and interesting film. And certainly more dramatic and emotional. Some scenes here are so good with the highlight being the entire third act which has some truly moving moments and even a couple of interesting things to say.

However, Jackie still suffers from the regular problems of these political biopics and that is of course its dishonest approach. The film is basically a glorified and even at times propagandistic and plain aggressive case for how great of a president and man he was when in reality he had a number of affairz with different women, but of course that fact was entirely omitted from this film.

And Jackie herself felt overly sympathetic which is where lies the movie’s biggest problem. Clever and truly great biographical films present their subjects as human beings, both admirable and flawed. Here however, she is basically a saint with no flaws whatsoever. That was so problematic. And all of the other characters are exactly the same, but unlike her, they are forgettable and do not impact the film’s plot at all.

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

There is one superb thing in this film that nobody can deny and that is of course Natalie Portman’s performance which is simply astonishing. It is one of the best performances of the year and I honestly think that she should have won an Oscar for this film instead of ‘Black Swan’ as she is so much better here. She not only became this person and entirely sold her movements and her speech patterns, but she also sold those highly emotional scenes and was just a force to be reckoned with. She is the reason to see this otherwise so-so film.

Jackie’s Oscar-nominated costumes are certainly exquisite and the year’s best. The film is surprisingly well edited and involving for a political biographical piece. It succeeds as a historical picture as it transports you to its time period really well with a good eye for detail. It is very well made for sure and it features some pretty interesting conversations owing to a solid script and dialogue. It is a shame then that some other lines ring so false and propagandistic.

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

Two of the biggest offenders here are the overabundant graphical details of the murder which were thoroughly unnecessary and the score which is simply horrible. How it was nominated for an Oscar I will never know. It is so aggressive, moody and dangerous that it suits the science fiction horror sensibilities and genre much more than a historical drama. Truly, the musical choice is so bad that it actually becomes distracting. But thankfully the film is well made in other technical areas. Overall, I liked Jackie to some extent and some scenes are even commendable in their dialogue, but the biased approach hurt it in the long run.

Jackie is a solid and sometimes even great, but obviously very flawed movie. The performance from Natalie Portman is truly inspired and she is simply phenomenal here, some conversations were quite interesting, the film is emotional and it is pretty involving which I did not expect, but the score is horrible, they almost entirely glorified her and it is so annoyingly biased and even propagandistic at times with a couple of lines that rang false.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 2010s, 2016, Biopic, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Good review. I wrote my own review on a site called Rate Your Music (I posted the link at the bottom of the comment) I’m the review and have many similar thoughts as yours. Although I have to disagree with a couple of the aspects you didn’t like, The score I thought was hauntingly beautiful and helped keep the mood somber. If it wasn’t for La La Land being so damn amazing, I actually thought that Jackie’s score was the best out of any of the films that I watched.

    Also, I thought that the graphic detail of JFK’s death was important. It showed just how strong Jackie was for conducting herself the way that she did after what was an event that would traumatize most people.

    But I absolutely agree with your thoughts on JFK. But not that the film showed him to be a better man than he was. They were really subtle about discussing JFK’s affairs and how poorly he treated Jackie which I mention in my review in more detail.

    You chose great quotes to start the review btw.

    https://rateyourmusic.com/film/jackie_f1/ (Will have to search for it under Username: Volgan. I’m the longest review and currently the only reviewer giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.)

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