Power of a symbol

Jackie (2016) is about grief, pain, hurt and faith during hard times, serious, strong themes. Former US President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, in Dallas, Texas. The film focuses on the grief of Kennedy’s wife, Jackie Kennedy, who is interviewed by a journalist, to get beneath the surface of her grief. an uncomfortable interview as far as Jackie is concerned. Jackie is grieving and is jaded by much of what has been written about her already. This journalist is sensitive enough to accommodate much of Jackie’s concerns. The interview scenes, sometime after the assassination, ooze with Jackie’s grief, as well as the scenes immediately after the assassination, filmed indoors, at a replica of the White House, and some outdoors, a cemetery. The film does have the look of budget constraints unfortunately, but Natalie Portman gets under the grief of the former first lady and is so natural in conveying the mannerisms and emotional hurt 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 the priest over the untimely death. It is here that the priest encourages Jackie that God has not left her amiss, that taken in the right way, she is a symbol for the nation. Here is a glimmer of hope for a movie of some somber mood but a story of value and performances of authenticity.

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