Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016) takes a little while to warm up to it. The human side of Jackie Kennedy, the wife of assassinated US President John F Kennedy, doesn’t come to the fore until some moments in. Then, I was caught up watching Natalie Portman as Jackie get her hands dirty in getting under the grief of the former first lady who has just witnessed the assassination of her husband. Portman is so natural in conveying the mannerisms and emotional hurt of Jackie, that she morphs seamlessly into the role. She is ably supported by Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, Richard E Grant as Bill Walton, and John Hurt as the Catholic priest Jackie confides in about her God issues over the untimely death. It is here that there’s a great spiritual moment in the film, when the priest retells Jesus’ parable of the blind beggar to comfort Jackie. The parable becomes a spiritual lesson for her and elevates her as a kind of symbol for the nation and the world, as she’s here to now glorify God. Peter Sarsgaard gives a compassionate performance and Richard E Grant is sensible and has presence in his official kind of role. Jackie is a compassionate portrayal of Jackie Kennedy, which is certainly apt considering the subject matter. 3/4.

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