With her husband (Caspar Phillipson) assassinated, Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) isn’t sure of what to do with herself. She was the first lady of the United States, but now, no more. That, however, is the least of her worries, as her husband’s passing hits her with a strike of grief and depression. It strikes hard, effecting her day-to-day life and relationship with friends and family, and that’s where this film comes along. In the days following JFK’s assassination, Jackie attempts to rekindle her faith and find hope in the future, despite all hope seemingly gone.
The levity of the situation is definitely present, the intercut narrative simluationsuly showcasing her initial grief and struggle to accept it in the days that follow. The intercut narrative works for the film, adding to the insanity and the chaos of the situation. It puts you in the shoes of Jackie, and they’re shoes that aren’t fun to be in. Still, it’s exceptionally well made, a true craftsmanship of a movie. Director Pablo Larraín has clearly put a lot of effort into the making of this movie, the cinematography and editing a true marvel. The camera work is beautiful and intimate, occasionally integrating real life footage into some of the scenes to create even further authenticity.
What this movie is, though, is an interesting look at grief and the madness that followed the death of JFK, as told through the perspective of Jackie. While this is an insightful and often entertaining experience, it isn’t too eventful of a movie. Little actually goes on in this film, merely a showcase of Jackie’s depression and attempts at dealing with such a loss. There are plenty of impactful moments scattered throughout, a shot of her showering with blood dripping down her back sure to haunt many viewers, but there simply isn’t a plot good enough to sustain a feature length runtime. The film needed more bite, even if it (occasionally successfully) attempts to hide its lack of plot through a back and forth narrative.
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