Jackie Kennedy. The epitome of timeless, great sixties style. And many artistic achievements that I cannot list in all-it would take far too long in this post. I admire her most for succeeding in an era when women had less equality, and a subsequent less equal status, to men; to revamp the White House, and casting America as an artistic heavyweight was no small feat. And to play such a comprehensive role in soft diplomacy? Wow.
Since I was-I think fourteen-I have been fascinated with the former first lady. It’s the sense of history about her-the influence on policy, her restoration project, the way arts were seen round the world after the administration. It’s a Kennedy aura almost-although her editing career, once Jacqueline Onassis, was equally as impressive. Who would have thought that a former first lady would have edited the autobiography of Michael Jackson? And who’d have thought that she’d have put in motion the idea for Carly Simon to also write hers? These books are immense.
Today, Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, is released in the UK.
Previous films have made me somewhat of a sceptic, as a history student; the ostensibly historical drama, typecast to become an almost glamourized account of the assassination. (Uggghhh! I know that this is Hollywood-and profits have to be made-But why almost trivialize what was a horrific event?) Similarly, they underplay the part of Mrs Kennedy, and focus on the collective drama. Can you see why I’m scornful? A cynic, even? A member of a cinema audience who dislikes some films, for a contradiction matched by their historical knowledge Anyway, I digress my point.
Jackie, from its brief trailer, seems to promise to be different. Why?
- Obviously, from the title, it centres on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy, later Mrs Onassis. It seems to be a biopic-and to my knowledge, this is the first, although that’s probably disputable. But it is surely time to release this?
- It’s set after the assassination. And I also believe that this has not been done before. So: the violent bloodshed of the sixties; civil rights; Vietnam; marriage to Onassis; his death; Jackie’s editing career; and her children growing up. There’s a lot of substance to pack into a film about somebody commonly associated with style.
I love the trailer, in that this has seemed to stay true to life as possible; brunette hair, cigarette, and the little girls voice are all inclusive. I just hope it doesn’t dramatize, or make anything too sentimental.
What do you think? Will you be seeing Jackie?