Labeled a biopic, the story line of JACKIE (based on Theodore H. White’s Life magazine interview) is a re-enacted “interview” with the newly widowed First Lady. The interview takes place in Hyannis Port, MA, a temporary home for her and her children after being evicted from the White House by Ladybird and the new President, Lyndon Johnson.

With extreme dramatic license taken in terms of the way Jacqueline Kennedy “felt” during the immediate aftermath of her husband’s assassination, JACKIE (Natalie Portman) was portrayed as a chain-smoking, controlling, self-preserving manipulator who, interspersed with heart-breaking grief and trauma over her personal loss, was determined to choreograph her husband’s funeral so that his legacy and her image would remain the Camelot version the Country had entitled the young, beautiful First Family.

Aside from Natalie Portman’s recognizable emulation of Jackie’s mannerisms and breathy delivery, a portrayal that kept me engaged, the intent of this movie appeared to be mean-spirited. After so many years since JFK’s assassination, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis no longer alive, JACKIE has no redeeming value.

And many of the incidents, as well as the dialogue in the movie, were inaccurate (see Historical Accuracy – fact vs. movie depiction – in Wikipedia).

 

In 1973, I had the rare opportunity to share a very small (two-person only) Ladies Room with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Below is a story I wrote about my experience with the former First Lady.

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