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Jackie

Director:  Pablo Larraín
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  0.5

A journalist (Billy Crudup) meets with Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) to talk about her personal struggles following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson) - it was Lee Harvey Oswald, people, just read Gerald Posner - and uses flashbacks to show her more peaceful days, allowing a camera crew to follow her around the White House (which she wanted to make into a majestic palace, no matter the cost). I'm always in favor of non-Americans giving their impression of our country (also see: Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America and Jean Baudrillard's America) - outsiders have a unique perspective on things 'we' may not notice/take for granted - but this is an affected, belabored movie from the Chilean director, with Portman expending too much psychic energy trying to get Jackie's voice right and Larraín aiming the camera right at her face (mostly in close-up), desperately attempting to wring out feelings of pity for her. It's insultingly empty, adding little information to what the general public knows about the lady and her situation (it also leaves Marilyn Monroe out of it), a case of Look At the Victim and Feel Her Pain, except it's visual Novocaine. "Only crass, self-indulgent people kill themselves," Jackie tells a sympathetic priest (John Hurt) ... Émile Durkheim would beg to differ.

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