Coming at the tail end of the baby boomer era, I was only 4 when President Kennedy was assassinated and have zero memory of this historic tragedy. Yet the eras and players in the Kennedy family both before and after. There political prowess, the aura surrounding the family name and the seemingly endless stream of tragedy and misfortuneall are strong in my mind.
I’m really sure if there is any timing significance of the new movie “Jackie” starring uber talented Natalie Portman as the 1st lady died over 20 years ago.
But clearly Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in her 3 short years in the White House became one of the most famous 1st ladies of all time. Was it her youth, her elegant looks, her fashion style, her gentle manner that fueled this reputation… I just don’t know.
To me, again her time was before mine and her post assassination years were kept very private and professional. She simply deserved endless respect that inspired me to see the film quite unsure of the films angle.
Not sure where the thought came to capture the day of the assassination and the roughly 7 days after as we watched Jackie dealer with the horror and the prospect. But it was interesting enough.
Of course the horror of witnessing her husbands death; the prospect of raising her children fatherless, leaving her much loved White House home, watching new political players (specifically LBJ) move right into to carry on the work of the county and more was quite overwhelming.
She is of course very emotional during this period, smokes like a fiend seems lost in the White House and almost seems forgotten.
Mrs. Kennedy had only a staff of one back then (played well by Greta Gerwig) so she had to navigate this tragedy solo on instinct managing multiple things.
And I guess the genesis of the story was Jackie’s rather quick ability post assassination to manage the funeral/arrangements etc. specifically in the publics eye. She seemed to have very clear and strong ideas on how things would happen and how they would look to cement the final moments of the Kennedy White House. Movie was told to a national reporter about a week after the tragedy in an exclusive interview to capture the inside story.
It was interesting, surprisingly graphic (the assassination) and I love the sets/colors/clothes from that era (like the bulky yellow cabs) or the endless smoking by all. Back to colors for a second, in a world with lots of grays, whites, blacks and beiges, her introduction of color and style especially as 1st lady I’m sured reshaped the retail fashion world.
I enjoyed the film but think if the role wasn’t played by such a prime time actress like Natalie Portman and done so well, I’m afraid the film would have been less engaging.
What struck me most about this story and I’ll assume it was historically accurate, was Jackie’s seemingly lack of interest to 1st and foremost rush home to her children and spend as much time with them as possible in this time of utter horror. Not only reassure them but it was her closest, most beloved family….wouldn’t we all run home in time of tragedy to be surrounded by family? I just struck me odd and near business like her relationship with her children in this film.
I could well imagine Ms. Portman get some best actress nominations..but I don’t think the film will.