Critic Consensus: Jackie offers an alluring peek into a beloved American public figure's private world -- and an enthralling starring performance from Natalie Portman in the bargain.
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Critic Reviews for Jackie
[Portman is] at her best here in the moments when Jackie is quiet, when the grief, anger and doubt are in her face more than in her words.
This is a movie about power, and its spectacle is that of a woman almost losing all of it. Larrain portrays all of this with the appropriate degree of horror and sorrow.
Portman is simply brilliant, getting to the essence of Jackie without resorting to a mere impersonation.
The title character never emerges from the iconic shell she inhabits to become a fully fleshed-out individual and the filmmakers are perhaps too reverential to make her seem real.
Audience Reviews for Jackie
True stories come in many forms when placing them on the big screen, so it's very hard to say whether or not something feels quite accurate. I find myself compelled to say that Jackie is one of the best films of 2016, solely due to the fact that the storytelling aspect about this film is tremendous. Having said that, there are many issues that I have with this film that can't be ignored. Critics are praising this film, and while Natalie Portman absolutely deserves her recognition here, I personally think this film never reaches its fullest potential, set in motion by her incredible performance. Here is why I believe Jackie is a showcase of talent for Portman, but otherwise too simple to be memorable. Opening with the assassination of JFK, it rapidly becomes a simple film about his wife, Jackie Kennedy, grieving over her fallen life partner. There are two time periods focussed on here, one coming immediately after his assassination, one as time as passed, and some flashbacks including graphic images of the assassination itself. The way this film is structured is what made it such a unique viewing experience, because if it was told linearly, it would have been pretty boring in my opinion. This truly is a very boring film, but I never actually found myself checking my watch, because Natalie Portman pulled me right back into the story every time I found myself drifting. Throughout this film, flashes to old tapings of Jackie Kennedy are displayed on-screen. What I found interesting was that they replicated them with Natalie Portman, rather than cutting to the actual archival footage. This really made it seem authentic and I was able to buy into that. That being said, the editing throughout this film is what took me out of it most of the time. Yes, I understand jump-cutting is a style that certain people like to use, but when it's only utilized periodically throughout a film, it becomes jarring and slightly distracting. Jackie does this in spades, and while it doesn't hurt the film in any way, I found myself annoyed. Not since Black Swan, almost eight years ago now, have I seen Natalie Portman so deserving of large recognition. Her devotion to this real-life character made my eyes swell up with sadness for her. I felt as though I had been watching actual interviews with the real widowed first lady. When it comes down to it, a biopic is all about the casting and how well they choose to tell a specific portion of the story. This short period of time between the death and burial was a very good choice as far as storytelling goes, because the film is only about 97 minutes in length. For the story at hand, that is all that's needed here. I do have many technical issues with this film, but I can't deny the story is done with taste and the core performance is outstanding. In the end, the fact that Jackie is a very drab and dull-looking picture, states that it definitely won't have much re-watchability for most of it's viewers. Older crowds who were around when this event in history actually occurred, will definitely have a much more emotional reaction to it than I did, so that is who I believe this film is aimed at more, as well as paying tribute to this tragic portion of Jackie Kennedy's life. Overall, Jackie is a well-made film as far as directing it's performances and story goes, but the look is too dull and washed out and the editing is slightly too choppy for my liking; However, the score was very beautifully done, making dull moments durable. Jackie won't be making my best of the year list, nor is it worth re-watching, but if you are looking for a straight-forward, to-the-point, and effective biopic, you will be satisfied. This is a story worth exploring, even if a few things could have been altered.
I'm not a historian, but I think it's pretty obvious that the JFK assassination is one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the history of the United States. Jackie is about JFK's legacy and the woman who knew him better than anyone else. Natalie Portman's extremely complex performance is the centerpiece of the film, and she delivers on all counts. Watching this movie was an extremely uncomfortable experience, as it should be: the forefront of that being Jackie's reaction to it all. A particular scene of her sobbing uncontrollably into a mirror is one of the most impressive pieces of acting I've seen in recent years. But it's not only that scene that stood out, as the entire performance is unforgettable. If it's accurate, the film portrays Jackie Kennedy as being awfully smug and pretentious. With that being said, the viewer is constantly reminded of how traumatic of an experience she went through, and asks how we would feel if we were put into the same position. This is an extremely dark movie, made only sadder by the grating soundtrack. They also do a great job of bringing the 60's back to life- notably the famous White House tour Jackie Kennedy gave was filmed in black and white, which I thought was a successful attempt to reimagine the way it was filmed originally. On the downside, there are scenes that drag. Given the rather brief 95 minute running time, that left me a little surprised- aside from that, I can't complain. Jackie is the complete package: proper tone, accurate setting, and above all, an unforgettable performance from Natalie Portman that will more than likely win her another Oscar.
Subtle, dark, and quietly powerful, Jackie features a terrific performance from Natalie Portman and delivers an important commentary on American culture.
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