Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews

“Jackie” a Heartfelt Mini Bio of the First Lady

 

A heartfelt account through the eyes of Jacquelyn Bouvier Kennedy following the assassination of her husband John Fitzgerald Kennedy, this mini biography Jackie is now on home video. The film includes her televised White House tour and her interview with American political journalist and historian Theodore Harold White.

The film documents the emotional struggles she endured and how she was able to withstand the smothering sympathy. Short on bonus material, the Blu-ray/DVD + Digital HD has one very insightful look at the first lady.

Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman), America’s first lady and daughter of a Wall Street broker, was known for her contributions to art and preservation of historic architecture. She and her husband were loved by the American people who had a deep fascination for their approach to the highest office in the land. Jackie also knew that it was important for her to preserve the legacy they leave behind by being openly visible to the women of the world. But all came crashing down on her when shots were fired in Dallas on November 22, 1963 ending the lifestyle the press dubbed Camelot.

Natalie Portman as “Jackie Kennedy” in JACKIE. Photo by Stephanie Branchu. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Following that awful afternoon that included the swearing in of President Lyndon B Johnson (John Carroll Lynch) aboard Air Force One, you could see the grief that came over her. It would be many weeks that she would hide her true feelings and thoughts of her life with a political pundit and it was not what it seemed to be.

Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Sunnie Pelant, Aiden Weinberg, and Brody Weinberg

Director Pablo Larraín relives the detail account of Jackie Kennedy’s emotional experience during a horrific week in her life from a script written by Noah Oppenheim (The Divergent Series: Allegiant 1). He was able to accurately show from documented events the importance of this horrific event on our history and the toll it took on Jackie.

Larrain shows snippets from Jackie’s White House tour, the The Dallas motorcade, and the swearing in of President Johnson, all triggers that increase the depressive state she enters during the massive funeral.

Caspar Phillipson as “John Fitzgerald Kennedy” and Natalie Portman as “Jackie Kennedy” in JACKIE. Photo by Stephanie Branchu. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Natalie Portman does resemble Jackie Kennedy and gives a nice performance as the first lady who faces tragedy. She interprets the former first lady seeing the changes come over her character as the timeline progresses. Larrain does however, make her a little overly emotional at times, but not to the point of being maudlin.

BONUS FEATURE

“From Jackie to Camelot” is basically a making of Jackie. The very imaginative extra feature gets to the heart of the character from the makers of the film. Included in the dissertation are their thoughts, feelings and interpretation of Jacquelyn Bouvier Kennedy during the critical time in her life. Adding comments are producers Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handler, Mickey Liddell and Scott Franklin. Director Pablo Larrain, actors Natalie Portman and Billy Crudup also give their thoughts.

Jackie, the movie has been rated R by the MPAA for brief strong violence and some language. The film is an informative and detailed narrative that presents the real Jackie from research of her own words. Even though the production value is by far excellent, it develops at a snail’s pace making it tiresome at times.

FINAL ANALYSIS: The film is above average its intensive presentation and historical value.

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, John Carroll Lynch, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Max Casella, and John Carroll Lynch.
Directed by: Pablo Larraín
Genre: Drama, Biography
MPAA Rating: R for brief strong violence and some language
Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Video Release Date: March 7, 2017
Original Theatrical Release Date: December 23, 2016
Language: English (changeable to French or Spanish)
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: Dolby Digital
Video: Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc (Also available in DVD and Digital HD
Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 10 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com