Natalie Portman embodies a magnificent ‘Jackie’

JFK Facts movie critic Patrick McDonald on “Jackie

This biographical portrait is superior cinematic form, a combination of stylistic close-up work and funereal atmosphere by Pablo Lorrain, one of the most creative directors working today. The camera never blinks while following Natalie Portman as the title character, in a peak career performance.


  1. JSA says:

    This Jackie story is still circulating, that the Daily Mail has exclusive tapes of the late Jacqueline Kennedy saying that she thought Lyndon Johnson had something to do with her husband’s death in Dallas. Is this true? Or has it been debunked—that she actually said this on the tapes?

    Here is a pop news link to the allegation:

    • ed connor says:

      What Jackie’s opinion might have been concerning LBJ is not evidenciary. If she had actual knowledge of LBJ’s involvement, and that knowledge was preserved, that WOULD be significant.
      She WAS the closest eyewitness to the murder. Her personal observations would be significant. But, from what I have read, her testimony and recollections don’t advance the search for truth very much.

  2. ed connor says:

    I finally saw this film.
    It seemed awfully LN in its interpretation, to the extent it dealt with responsibility for the assassination.
    Jackie’s comment to William Manchester; “he was just a little communist nobody,” is repeated. Her (and RFK’s) comments to William Walton a week later, that more than one person was involved, did not get mentioned.
    The scenes of her trying to enter the autopsy suite at Bethesda were obviously due to the director mixing up Bethesda and Parkland; Jackie and RFK remained on the 17th floor of the Forestal Tower At Bethesda and never entered the pathology wing.
    But the acting was superb, and Portman is a good bet for an Oscar this year.

  3. J.D. says:

    I’m curious if any of the other regulars here had any thoughts on this film. I found it to be something of a disappointment, apart from Natalie Portman’s performance as Jackie and the relative unknown actor Caspar Phillipson’s brief appearance as JFK. Those performances are so good that I found myself wishing the film had been about JFK and Jackie’s last days in the White House, rather than simply rehashing the familiar story of the aftermath of the assassination. The film gives you a vivid sense of Jackie Kennedy’s anguish over that weekend, but not much else. The screenplay isn’t great; a lot of the scenes — particularly the framing device involving Jackie and an unnamed journalist, presumably based on Theodore White — are just awkwardly written and unbelievable. The scene where RFK muses aloud about JFK’s legacy, sounding more like an Atlantic writer than a grieving brother, is particularly hard to take. Peter Sarsgaard is also woefully miscast as RFK.

    Worst of all, for me, was the persistent theme throughout the film that JFK was a mediocre president with no accomplishments who had to be elevated to “greatness” by a posthumous PR campaign. I found this to be ludicrous, but sadly unsurprising given that it’s the standard middlebrow-liberal take on JFK these days.

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