Jackie (Blu-ray)

March 8, 2017 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I can’t say I was overly excited when I saw the ads for Jackie. It just didn’t appeal to me. While there are far worse actresses out there than Natalie Portman, she would not have been my first choice for this role. The film gives us a look through Jackie’s eyes one day after the assassination of JFK. The film feels as if it wants to make an impression, but winds up as boring and clumsy without much focus. The film might be well intentioned, but is ultimately lacking in many aspects. The technical merits are strong such as recreating the era, but the story is what’s lacking here. With little focus, there’s not much to grasp onto.

A large bulk of the film is spent between Jackie and a journalist played by Billy Crudup. We see much of the pressure placed on Jackie as she’s told how to act and how to look in public. Set in 1963, this was a time when you could stop certain photos from being released. Unlike now when the news is so instant and there’s really no way to stop it from spreading. Honestly, there’s just not much substance to this film. Scenes drag on and on without much purpose and the entire film feels superficial and repetitive. We do get brief glimpses of the day of the assassination as well. I wanted the film to work on me and move me, but it left me cold and unchanged. I’m not sure of Portman’s performance either. At times it feels like she’s just trying too hard. I don’t think it’s a bad performance, maybe just a misguided one. It doesn’t help that she’s front and center through most of it. It doesn’t help that the film’s timeline jumps around too often. We’re dragged from one time to another. It grows frustrating after a point. All things considered, the film winds up as a disappointment. I’m not saying there isn’t strong subject matter here, but the execution is what’s lacking. I’d rather watch a documentary on the subject instead.

Video: How’s it look?

Oddly, we get a 1.66:1 transfer that can be a bit spotty at times. Overall, it has enough pros, but certain aspects of it aren’t quite up to par. There’s some grain and fuzziness here and there and colors were never as bold as I would’ve preferred. Still, most casual fans probably won’t be looking at this as critics and will be just fine.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track is about as expected. The film doesn’t require a broad track, so expect things to be mostly front loaded. Vocals are fine and crisp with no major issues. There’s some music here and there that adds good range and overall, this track serves the film the best it could. Fans should be pleased with the results.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • From Jackie to Camelot – This is presented in the same 1.66:1 aspect ratio as the film, for those that might care. For all the run-of-the-mill EPK’s out there, this one stands above those. We get a pretty broad look at the production of the film beginning with the screenplay as well as the casting, directing and the general scope of the film. Running at 22 minutes, it’s longer than so many of the 5 minute features found on the disc. Unfortunately, it’s the only supplement that has any substance.
  • Gallery – As Fox tends to do, this is a gallery of stills and behind the scene photos that can be played manually or auto advanced.
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

I won’t lie, Jackie did very little for me. I was hoping I’d take something away from the film, but it just felt lacking. I’m also not crazy about Portman’s performance either. The film was slow and offered nothing new. Skip it.

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