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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Historical > Assassination > History > Biography > Profile > Jackie (2016/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Jackie (2016/Fox Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B/C+ Sound: B/C+ Extras: C Film: B

Telling the story (or stories) of the dynasty of politics and power that is the Kennedy Family has not been an easy one, not helped by the soap opera TV presentations and now, phony pseudo-documentaries about them, but key stories that reveal the honest truth, heart and soul of the significance of their influence on making the United States the greatest country in the world and how that was too much of a threat to certain darker powers around has yet to be fully explored. However, Pablo Larrain's Jackie (2016) dares to take on the subject of what Jacqueline Kennedy had to endure immediately after her husband was assassinated right next to her and is a stunningly successful drama that is easily one of 2016's best films.

Mixed with a famous TV interview where Jackie (the underrated Natalie Portman in one of her greatest performances yet) shows the nation the White House like never before, we go back and fourth between her interview with the reporter of that landmark interview (Billy Crudup) and her life just after JFK was mysteriously killed.

At first, this could go into any direction, be a drag, a run-on piece or worse, but Portman Immediately transforms into the title icon, a clue that we may be in for something special like we have never seen before. She is unbelievable, then the solid screenplay by Noah Oppenheim goes deep deep and boldly into her private space, the lives of her and all those around here and is so palpably realistic that you do feel like you are there. There is also her talks with her priest (the late, great John Hurt in one of his last roles), Bobby Kennedy (the ever-under-appreciated Peter Sarsgaard and a fine supporting cast that also includes Greta Gerwig. At 100 minutes, this actually seems to short, but the makers get to the point on everything and once you start to get into it, you cannot stop.

But back to Portman. Here she is reuniting with Producer Darren Aranofsky, the great director who directed her in her Best Actress performance in Black Swan. They obviously have an excellent chemistry together, even if he did not helm this film, something Larrain handles just fine. Aranofsky gets how good Portman is, even if many tended to think of her as just a commercial actress early on. These are great filmmakers with more to come, true artists, and we are hopefully witnessing the beginning of a long run of unforgettable work. Save a few small issues I had that are not worth getting into (i.e., distractions, spoilers), Jackie is one of the few must-sees of late and I highly recommend it.

The 1080p 1.66 X 1 AVC @ 35 MBPS digital High Definition image transfer is shot in the underrated Super 16mm film format, save some moments of black and white video made to imitate analog video of the time and various kinds of stylized touches to further evoke the period. Director of Photography Stephane Fontaine A.F.C., uses advanced Kodak Vision 3 color negative film stocks to deliver a film that looks so good, it shames most HD shoots and some 35mm shoots of late. Composition is often impressive and it all makes the already amazing recreation of history that more involving. The anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image is not bad for the format, especially where the downgrading is done.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Ariadne is well mixed and presented, with anything dialogue-based usually accompanied by subtle sounds and excellent music throughout. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is not bad, but it loses the warmth and impact of the DTS.

Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber iTunes capable devices (plus a hidden extra from what we hear), while the discs add a Photo Gallery and Making Of featurette From Jackie To Camelot.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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