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'Jackie' is far better then a normal bio pic.


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#1 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:11 AM

'Jackie' is far better then a normal bio pic.

The story of Jackie Kennedy during the days after the presidents assassination, isn't exactly the kind of movie I'd normally be interested in. However, Natalie Portman playing Jackie Kennedy, french filmmaker Pablo Larraín and the stunning use of Super 16 to bring the audience back to 1963, were enough to peak my interest. 'Jackie' in of itself is a very simple story and from what I can tell, is completely true and told mostly in her own words. The filmmakers used many devices to tell the story, all of them pretty unique and interesting like the re-creation of old live broadcasts and the use of original 16mm footage from events around the capitol post assassination. The filmmakers did a brilliant job showing the confusion and depression that followed the assassination, making it realistic and heartfelt. Natalie Portman was outstanding in her (hopefully) oscar-winning performance portraying Jackie. It's been years since I've seen someone play a person in history so well. Not only did she talk just like her, but she even looked like her. I was convinced from the first frame to the last frame, which is very impressive.

Technically, the film was just brilliant. The use of S16 (retaining the formats 1.67:1 aspect ratio) was fantastic. The film wasn't very grainy/noisy, but it did look as if the film was underexposed slightly because it looked very flat, without a lot of dynamics. The filmmakers were obsessed with the "single" shot during any dialog scenes. This technique helped them get right into the emotion of whoever was talking. I felt the lens choices were also spot-on, using a lot of the same focal length except for some well-placed zooms that worked so well. At one point, with the very unique score whaling in the background with a long zoom shot, 'Jackie' felt almost like a Kubrick film. The sparse score felt like something out of 'There Will be Blood' rather then a normal bio pic. This was to intensify the confusion and it worked very well, I just loved the score.

As my analytical mind chewed on the film I noticed, there wasn't a single scene that felt out of place or unwanted, every frame was necessary to tell the story and the use of "floating" time, helped keep it interesting. I was impressed the filmmakers re-created much of the White House on a soundstage somewhere in Europe, rather then use the sets here in the states. Most of the film was shot in France, which seems like an exorbitant expense, but I gather it was necessary for some reason, maybe due to financing. Filmmaking wise, 'Jackie' was a lesson in how to tell a very simple story without letting it bore the audience. It's a character study and unfortunately, it's about someone don't even know about. The film itself is about Jackie trying to make the American people remember John Kennedy and in a lot of ways, the film exists to remind people who Jackie was.

I loved 'Jackie' and not because I'm some film snob, it's because the filmmaking within the movie was so well done. It's rare to see such GOOD filmmaking in main stream theatrical movies. Portman has two hands on the Golden Globe and Oscar for her role, nobody can touch her heartfelt and perfect performance. It's sad because there are so many great performances this year, but I think she's got it in the bag.

8.5/10 4 stars out of 5.
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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:53 AM

One more thing to mention... I saw this film at the AMC Burbank and they have some strange screens there that look very funny. Last time I went to this theater (few years ago) I thought it was the projectors, but they're all Sony 4k models, so I doubt that was the issue. Today however I looked more carefully and it seems like the screens are designed to reflect light differently then most screens. They aren't completely flat I believe, I think they have some reflective material to them. This makes movies look very strange and more soft then normal I feel. I was very unimpressed with the presentation I saw of this movie. Yet another example of theaters trying present things differently and failing miserably.
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#3 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 10:52 AM

I like pictures that don't use a lot of score, lets the audience decide the mood for themselves.

 

Was their a really nice and gory JFK bullet time scene?


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 03:13 PM

Me too, I'm all about sparse score. Can't say the film was lacking in score, it just wasn't a "full" score. You can hear it on iTunes, it's pretty good.

Actually the death scene was super well done, gory and in real time. Had a few shocks from the audience.
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