Gordon and I just watched Jackie. It’s very thought provoking. This is a movie about Jackie Kennedy, not Jack and his foibles. The film starts with Jackie talking to a reporter about her life after the assassination. I was horrified to realize that after Kennedy was killed, Jackie had nowhere to go. They didn’t even own a home; they spent their time away from Washington in the Kennedy compound and that was owned by Old Joe. Jackie probably got a widow’s pension but she was talking about selling her furniture to pay for her kid’s education. She had to plan her husband’s funeral while being pressured by the Johnson’s to get out of the White House; they wanted to move in. She also had to fight with Johnson’s staff to march to the cathedral with the casket. She had to fight to find a spot to bury her husband because she didn’t think the Kennedy family plot was an appropriate to bury a president. She picked the spot in Arlington National Cemetery and fought to have the children that died buried with him. She fought about everything with dignity. The movie is basically an ode to the strength and class of Jackie. One of the lines that most struck me was given by the Bobby Kennedy character: “They won’t remember that we stood up to Russia in the Cuban crisis, or maybe they’ll remember that we caused the Cuban crisis. We could have done so much but nobody with remember us at all.” So they do a montage about the TV show that Jackie did about re-decorating the White House, about how she invited artists to perform and elevated interest in the arts, about how every woman in the country wanted to be like Jackie. And the movie claims that Jackie quoted the last line of the musical, Camelot, and that’s where the media got it. So the conceit of the movie seems to be that Jackie made the Kennedy administration memorable. It’s a nice conceit.
Natalie Portman was incredible. She had the Jackie persona down cold; it was uncanny when she reproduced the White House interview. And she didn’t lose the persona when she went to script. I was distracted by her eyebrows; I’ve never seen eyebrows quirk that way, but that’s me. I also didn’t realize how much Jackie’s breathy voice sounded like Marilyn Monroe. I guess John F had a type.
Jackie is a mood piece and a character study. I thought Gordon would sleep through it. He was stretched out in his recliner but stayed awake throughout. No Zs on the snore scale. And that says a lot when you combine a movie like this and a Dad chair.