Parents' Guide to

Jackie

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intense, complex film about assassination and aftermath.

Movie R 2016 99 minutes
Jackie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 15+

A bit inconsistent, but a strong performance by Portman

This film vacillates between good and great and it all hangs on Portman. She is great, but sometimes the film does not support her and tries to upstage her intense character portrayal. Portman, Hurt and Grant are all believable and even Crudup offers a memorable portrayal. Portman disappears into her role and the scenery holds her up well. Ultimately though the film feels a bit stilted and unnecessarily jittery in spots and offers emotional empathy towards Jackie and her children but not much else. Still, it has moments that are searing and I give full credit to Portman, the costume and production designers that were able to transport us all to 1963.
age 16+

Wonderful exploration of another side of a well known story

Excellent film for adults and mature teens; not appropriate for children, mostly because they'd find it immensely boring. It's all dialogue; there's no action. (That one moment where you see what actually happened to JFK is intense but very, very brief.) I found this movie to be a wonderful exploration of what it would have been like to be the first lady at that moment in history. E.g. I loved how they fleshed out that famous photo of LBJ being sworn in as the next president, what a surreal experience it must have been for Jackie, standing there in her bloodstained pink suit. Natalie Portman was just wonderful (can't believe she didn't win the Oscar!) as was Billy Crudup as the journalist struggling to maintain the balance between personal respect for Mrs Kennedy and his job to chase a sensational interview/story.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This intense drama is a must see, not just for history buffs, but for anyone who wants to understand what mourning and the stewardship of an important but complicated legacy is like. Jackie tells a well-known story in a new way by adjusting its focus. Rather than putting the spotlight on the assassination's weight on the country as a whole, it centers on a woman, her children, and her struggle to make sense of a loss that doesn't just feel historic but also deeply personal.

Director Pablo Larrain creates a movie that's both lyrical and arresting, as well as a stunning exploration of grief brought to life by Portman. Her face is a canvas of ever-changing emotions as she struggles with rage, heartache, confusion, fear, and love. And Larrain adds depth to an already complex tale by refracting Jackie's story through the prism of a journalist. At first the interview-with-flashbacks device feels worrisomely artificial, but in the end it helps give voice to larger questions about legacy (questions that's also been explored in the Broadway hit Hamilton): Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? Who's in charge of your narrative? Jackie isn't a perfect film, but it perfectly captures the messy power of grief and United States' challenges as it cycles from one administration to the next, from periods of prosperity and triumph to struggles and dissent, always cast against the almighty backdrop of history.

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