Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jackie Review - 4 Stars

Natalie Portman demands our attention from the opening seconds of "Jackie." Her portrait of Jackie Kennedy aims for a glimpse of the young widow's drive, as she led the country in America's collective grief in the days following the assassination of her husband (President John Kennedy.) Technically, "Jackie" director Pablo LarraĆ­n dazzles in recreating Mrs. Kennedy's 1961 nationally-televised White House tour. He seamlessly combines footage from the period to keep us in the story. Portman as "Jackie" summons a reporter to the Kennedy family compound. The writer (a combination of several journalists who interviewed her after the assassination) must agree to Mrs. Kennedy's edits. They cannot reveal that she smokes or sometimes slugs vodka, or that the Camelot myth might be more myth than fact. "Jackie" combines an award-worthy performance (I think Portman is in almost every frame) with one of history's most fascinating tragedies. Acting, music and technical skill make this hard to resist. Does it deliver what it promises? Fascinating insight into American history and myth. Is it entertaining? Compelling. Is it worth the price of admission? One of the year's best.