For once I managed to get to the theater before a movie had come, gone, and gone to Netflix. We all know by now that Natalie Portman plays a dark Jackie Kennedy illustrating the moments following the assassination of JFK. Critics are saying she hasn't portrayed a role this well since The Black Swan and we couldn't agree more. The movie exhibits a woman that half the time sits composed talking to a reporter from a house she was living in after moving from the White House. The other time she flops from being wrecked with grief to a woman rising above the ashes and doing what is right by the memory of her husband, her children and herself. The director does a captivating job illustrating the grief that shakes our first lady, you can feel her pain and half the movie I found myself close to tears at the raw emotion of the situation. One scene shows her drinking, smoking cigarette after cigarette and changing from one outfit to another as she stumbles through the rooms of the palace. Each scene is careful thought out, the cameras panning to show up the emotion, the trembling and shaking as she rubs the blood from her face, the cool collectiveness as she speaks to the reporter, the determination as she marches through the mud to find THE burial spot. We bare witness to it all. We feel it all.
The movie ends as she finally reaches a retelling of events that she's comfortable releasing to the public and even then you wonder is it the image or the idea of image we remember. I left the theater with an intense feeling settling in my chest, the witnessing of the grief and dealings of the situation for a heavy hundred minutes with the soundtrack to match.
I had always considered myself a Marilyn fan, remember that scene from Mad Men? Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn? Marilyn. But after leaving the theater and seeing other sites put up Jackie's best fashion moments, Jackie's best quotes, a list of things she did while JFK was in office, what she did after. I became a fan. I have an appreciation for the woman that brought life to the White House, who brought history back into it's rooms, for the woman that refused to change from her pink Chanel suit because the people needed to see it. They needed to see the horror, to see that what was left was a grieving woman that who's pain was so large that it required a parade. That she marched eight blocks in heels with her children to honor and pay tribute to her husband.
Go see it.