I just went and saw that Jackie movie, and I have to say… I liked it.
I am biased, though. The JFK assassination is one of my favourite subjects to beat people over the head with when I’ve been drinking, and I’ll gobble up anything to do with it regardless of how over-the-top, historically inaccurate or stupid it might be. Jackie is none of those things, by the way. I couldn’t fault it. The sets are perfect, the wardrobe convincing, there were no bad wigs, the soundtrack could–and should–get an Oscar for best supporting actor, and there was no sign of Ben Affleck. Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy? One word: phenomenal. At first I was like, “Hang on, Jackie Kennedy didn’t talk like Audrey Hepburn circling a K hole.” But then I remembered that, yes, she actually did. Jackie Kennedy at all times appeared to be monged-out on first-generation Mitsubishis, and Portman captured her perfectly. I hear Oscar bells. Is that a thing? It is now.
The Jackie script is excellent as well. It’s one of the best examples of non-linear storytelling I’ve seen in ages. It slips back and forth through time and space like a big, slippery thing that can time-travel, and not once does it leave the audience wondering where they are and what, for the love of Pete, is going on. The film does, however, assume that the viewer knows a bit about the JFK assassination, and if the viewer doesn’t know anything about the JFK assassination, the viewer needs to open a jolly book every once in a jolly while. And by “jolly” I mean “fucking.” Here are the basics: On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was fatally shot during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas; alleged gunman Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested later that day, but was himself shot on November 24 by nightclub owner Jack Ruby; during the investigation into the assassination, Albert Einstein and Charlie Chapman were revealed to be gay lovers; Elvis Presley was interrogated about the suspicious disappearance of several large pies, and Hitler’s left testicle was discovered mummified inside a piano. That’s all you need to know. You could bring yourself up to speed by watching Oliver Stone’s JFK, but you deserve better than that. We all do.
The Oscar bells for Jackie are positively deafening. If they were any louder Natalie Portman’s next role would be the lead in a movie called The Helen Keller Story or The Girl What Went Deaf from Bells. She’s definitely bringing home the gold, as is director Pablo Larrain–he killed it. Another Oscar could–and should–go to the fact checkers of Jackie. The trainspotters among you will groan, but I think they did a great job. The best example of this was in the depiction of the famous pink suit Mrs. Kennedy refused to change out of even though it was spattered with her husband’s blood and brains. The makers of Jackie could’ve exaggerated how bloody that was, but instead they were true to how it actually looked, and that was far more powerful. In JFK, Oliver Stone’s Jackie looked like she’d just skinned and gutted a bear. But that’s Oliver Stone for you. He’s a penis.
Overall I thought Jackie was a success. I enjoyed it immensely and not once did I wish swift and painful death on any of the cast like I did when I saw that La La Land. Fuck La La Land.