Ugh. What a disappointing movie this was. The storytelling is awful. The script, which has Jackie and Bobby saying ridiculous and vain things shortly after the assassination, alternates between inauthenticity and cliché. The movie's scope is so narrow - it's titled 'Jackie' but we learn very little about her, since it focuses on her redecoration of the White House and the assassination and its aftermath. That's it! And even then, director Pablo Larrain somehow manages to botch it. He gets Jackie's spirit wrong, and manages to take one of the most dramatic events in American history and make it feel melodramatic. He doesn't give us anything about the larger context of her life, Kennedy's Presidency, or America at the time, and even in trying to tell us what he does, inexplicably leaves out the indelible image of JKF Jr. saluting his father at the funeral.
As for the film's vaunted acting, I found Natalie Portman uninspired as Jackie, and Peter Sarsgaard insipid as Bobby. Neither comes close to pulling off what are admittedly difficult roles. The dialog between Jackie and the priest (John Hurt) is banal and cringe-inducing. The interview with reporter (Billy Crudup) is as well. I am loathe to write extreme reviews particularly when on this site you see maximum ratings for simply good or mediocre movies, or the reverse, decent films getting trashed. I am also into historical films such as this and frankly, normally adore Natalie Portman. And yet here I am, utterly annoyed and giving 'Jackie' an extremely low rating. This could (and should) have been a far, far better movie. How insulting to the Kennedys, and to history.