Jackie(2016): First ladies are not made, they are born

A review of the movie Jackie (2016)


Jackie is a beautiful piece of cinematic art, I have always been drawn to the Kennedys and the short but glorious presidency of JFK.
Growing up I loved history and movies generally but I especially enjoyed (and cried at) every Kennedy related movie I was able to see. Researching the Internet there have been a lot of movies along the time about the Kennedys, out of which what I remember seeing were: The Women of Camelot (2001)Bobby (2006)Parkland (2013) and now Jackie (2016).

I find it ironic, or better said karmic,that I saw it on the 20th of January 2017, 56 years since the inauguration of the Kennedy administration in the United States on 01/20/1961.  It premiered on the 13th of January 2017 in my country, Romania, but I managed to see it right on the 20th. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I think that I was meant to see this amazing movie with one of my favorite actresses, Natalie Portman. Her performance was powerful and spot on, as she is a very talented Academy Award winner, we could not have expected otherwise.

Her portrayal of one of the most famous of the First Ladies of US in history, Jacqueline Kennedy, made us relive the tragic assassination of her husband, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, back in 1963. With a well crafted performance we were able to get a glimpse into the life of JFK’s widow in the days after the assassination, the burial and the things she had to go through in those painful few days, as told by herself in the interview with reporter Theodore H White in Life magazine.

Jackie portrays the short Kennedy presidency as a unique moment in US history, one that will never be repeated and will always be remembered as Camelot: there will never be another Camelot, not another Camelot.

I beg to differ, I think the Obama presidency, both Barrack and Michelle have left a mark in the souls of American citizens, US history and the world, although the Obama presidency is not marked by tragedy as the Kennedy one, I believe it will always remain in history as memorable. Once due to the fact he was the first Black president, and secondly due to his and his wife’s both charming personalities as well as the love and respect they have for each other, their country and their marriage, and of course the things they did for America.

Coming back to the movie I was of course very moved by Natalie’s performance, and the close ups of when she is crying are cringing. If I were not in a cinema filled with people at that time, I would have cried my ass off.

It was a necessary movie for me, to remember me of my undying love for history, my capacity for empathy, the fact that life moves on, and how a woman can still love a man and honor him even after his death and a life of infidelity. Thank you, Jackie!