Jackie Kennedy biopic (with Natalie Portman) thread

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Pretty amazing early word about this, another of your 'unconventional' biopics..

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/jackie

piscesx, Wednesday, 12 October 2016 10:23 (three years ago) link

It's directed by Pablo Larrain (No, El Club) who is rapidly becoming the most important South American director, kinda. It's his first film not shot by the great Sergio Armstrong (who also did great work on From Afar) so I'm only cautiously optimistic. The trailer looks good.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 12 October 2016 10:40 (three years ago) link

No was quite good, El Club had a cynical final half hour -- cautiously optimistic is my attitude too.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 October 2016 10:42 (three years ago) link

it's not a biopic

a biopic is cradle-to-grave or close to it

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:04 (three years ago) link

I rewatched NO recently, and I quite honestly still don't like it. It's a bit too funny or something? I don't know, the visuals are great and I think it's been massively influential on local cinema, but it's too sleek compared to El Club and Post Mortem, which is a chilling film that people should seek out. Larrain is not my favorite SA director, that's probably someone Argentinian, but I see his influence in dealing with the past and using digital imagery in quite a lot other films, such as the way The Clan deals with the disappearances for instance. He has also produced films by Sebastian Silva, Abel Ferrara and Sebastian Lelio's Gloria, which won a Silver Bear a few years back. He really seems influential, and I do like what he does. Or perhaps I'm just seeing connections where there are none.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 12 October 2016 11:28 (three years ago) link

I was planning to see this mostly for the Mica Levi score, but word has been so positive that I'm now genuinely looking forward to it.

You guys are caterpillar (Telephone thing), Wednesday, 12 October 2016 12:53 (three years ago) link

I've yet to see Larrain's Neruda or his debut film, which i understand was not that good, but the run of Tony Manero, Post Mortem, No, El Club is a pretty great one. Will be interesting to see what he does in Hollywood.

ælərdaɪs (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 12 October 2016 16:25 (three years ago) link

Best thing about No is that it's a completely unromantic look at the end of the dictatorship and the ending is a cutting criticism of transition chile and the lack of real change

ælərdaɪs (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 12 October 2016 16:26 (three years ago) link

I loved No, except for the running mime joke.

Saw this last night. It's a weird, weird film, and I didn't love it.

I consider Mica Levi to be a walking genius, and her score is immaculately recorded and composed. It is mixed extremely high, the reverb tails on the orchestra are louder than the foley. It is entirely acoustic-orchestral-- the finest cue in my opinion came at the very end, over the second half of the credits. Next to Natalie Portman, it is the movie's most dominating presence. An interesting thing about it is that it primarily draws from the compositional language of Soviet modernists, almost like a signifier for "COMMIES" hanging over the entire proceeding. It subverts the American subject matter in a way that confused me, as if Mica was saying "fuck the American monarchy" while she wrote it. I was oscillating afterward between having the opinion as to whether or not the score complimented the director's intention or upended it. Either way it was a very new and strange thing, to see a movie's thesis so coloured by a score.

fgti, Wednesday, 12 October 2016 17:36 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

Saw this today, it's pretty darn great. The colors, the fog, the sunset, the kids, the anxious shots of trauma and sorrow. I don't like the type of acting Portman does, but I took it in stride. There are so many great shots, and the score is perfect. Also, it plays great with Larrain's earlier films, like a true auteur.

Love fgti's description of the score, and I'm kinda thinking that one of the biggest strengths of Larrain is his willingness to work with partners. Alfredo Castro both co-wrote Tony Manero and played the main character perfectly; and Sergio Armstrong owns a lot of the greatness of their collaborations. It gives his films more layers, makes the whole thing more interesting, though in a way that is probably failed by auterist theory.

Frederik B, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:16 (two years ago) link

It's a bit too funny or something?

Fred B in a nutshell

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:22 (two years ago) link

I had little patience for it.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:25 (two years ago) link

The score's great but almost too inapposite, like most anything Johnny Greenwood does.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:25 (two years ago) link

what else has Mica Levi done?

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:26 (two years ago) link

under the skin

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:29 (two years ago) link

i do not understand what this movie was trying to do. the score is great but intrusive as reported upthread. rest of it felt very disembodied, very reliant on clunky expository dialogue, full of pretty shots that were also curiously empty compositions, overall felt like "gus van sant's jackie kennedy project" in style and pacing. portman speaks as if her voice is melting/decomposing which i understand is how jackie o spoke but having it embodied in someone whose normal voice i am so familiar with...well it took a lot of adjusting to. my favorite scene is "natalie portman grieves and puts on 3-4 dresses in a row"

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:58 (two years ago) link

her hair is great too

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:03 (two years ago) link

I keep thinking this says "Jamie Kennedy biopic (with Natalie Portman)." I'd see that movie.

Lauren Schumer Donor (Phil D.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:06 (two years ago) link

I'm not sure the film was 'trying to do' that much. Felt very improvisational/collaborational/experimental to me. It's an examination of the way Jackie Kennedy created the myth of the 'great' John & Camelot & all that, but scene for scene it's mostly impressionistic. I've been thinking how it compares to Post Mortem and No, btw, and the whole 'oeuvre' becomes more and more interesting to me.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:19 (two years ago) link

I appreciated the try, but it's a failed experiment. The movie still accepts Jackie's hagiographic account.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:27 (two years ago) link

Felt very improvisational/collaborational/experimental to me

yeah imo this really didn't work

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:47 (two years ago) link

it's impressionistic in its rhythms and its images but not in its text at all

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:48 (two years ago) link

my screener forgot to include a barf bag for use whenever the Camelot theme plays

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:56 (two years ago) link

w/

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:56 (two years ago) link

my favorite scene is "natalie portman grieves and puts on 3-4 dresses in a row"

followed by "Natalie Portman lights sixth cigarette in 90 seconds."

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:56 (two years ago) link

R Burton singing? xp

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:57 (two years ago) link

this sounds like soooooooooome 'experimental' film

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:57 (two years ago) link

R Burton singing? xp

― Supercreditor (Dr Morbius),

No – Thom Yorke, backed by Jonny Greenwood, David Gray, Suede's Bernard Butler, and Roxy Music's Andy Mackay.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:58 (two years ago) link

oh god, the horror

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:06 (two years ago) link

j/k

it was burton

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:06 (two years ago) link

wasn't impressed by this at all -- clunky script, boring idea, mostly bad acting. natalie was OK and the actor who played JFK was fine in the 1-2 minutes he was onscreen. cringed at a lot of the dialogue. perhaps this wasn't what the film set out to do but i was struck by how empty the actual content of the film was, completely free of any insights into the kennedy administration beyond what you'd get from a vanity fair cover story. there was nothing remotely RFK-ish about the way peter sarsgaard played RFK -- if she hadn't kept calling him "bobby," i probably wouldn't have even figured out who he was right away.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 21:24 (two years ago) link

one of Larrain's tropes is how media figures create their own reality (re: No, Neruda, possibly The Club). My problem with Jackie is that in the squid ink cloud of its framing and anachronistic post-modern script it advances an idea of Jackie K and the Kennedys that I find risible. I don't give a fuck about this savvy airhead, her clever airhead president-husband, and his aborted presidency.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 21:30 (two years ago) link

The guy who played JFK was Danish! And while he wasn't impressive, aside from his lookalike qualities, I liked how little he was in the film, and how he always seemed to enter the image unexpectedly. Like a ghost, see?

I'm curious to see what idea you think the film made about the JFK administration, Alfred. I really don't think the film accepts the hagiography, even the scenes where JFK is alive seems to depict a mostly dull and shallow reality - and in the shot of Jackie getting off the plane in Dalles she seems almost on the verge of an anxiety attack. When Bobby dissects it he also complains that they didn't get to do anything - and manages to sound like a moron when he complains LBJ will get all the glory from Vietnam. I think Larrain mostly sees the work of creating history as being hellish and awful - there's a scene in Post Mortem of the two main characters a couple days before the coup, sitting quietly, neither of them with any opinion on what's happening, and then both of them breaking down in tears, as if they're so sad that something has to happen, and won't leave them alone - and yeah, films like No and Jackie says that it's mostly all myths anyway.

I'm also really curious as to what JD and Brad means by terms such as 'content' and 'text'. The film is mostly its aesthetic, that is by far the most important part of it. There's not some underlying layer which is the real film.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:23 (two years ago) link

But admittedly a big part of my love for the film has more to do with the incredible light, colors, sunset and fog that is in it. As it is with most films.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:26 (two years ago) link

sorry i was using "content" a bit lazily -- i really just meant that there was basically nothing about the actual kennedy administration in this film, to the point that i think ppl with no prior knowledge would come away knowing basically nothing except that JFK died and everyone was sad.

that RFK speech was so ludicrous, sounded more like an atlantic writer's take on JFK's legacy than a grieving brother's.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:36 (two years ago) link

The lighting accentuates the reconstruction of a fictive past. It's the best element.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:41 (two years ago) link

my favorite scene is "natalie portman grieves and puts on 3-4 dresses in a row"

followed by "Natalie Portman lights sixth cigarette in 90 seconds."

― The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:56 PM (five hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

my dream life

surm, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:48 (two years ago) link

do we get to see JFK's head explode like a pumpkin?

akm, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 22:56 (two years ago) link

The lighting accentuates the reconstruction of a fictive past. It's the best element.

― The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), 11. januar 2017 23:41 (thirteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

At times it has exactly the same colors as in this old book from the sixties about JFK that my grandparents had, that I used to sift through. It's a lot like the use of Sony U-matic in No.

The list, btw, because lists are awesome:

1) El Club
2) Jackie
3) Post Mortem
4) No
5) Tony Manero

And Neruda will play here in the summer, and I should watch Fuga at some point.

(also, no, there is next to nothing on the JFK administration, but tbf Jackie wasn't part of the administration, so that's kinda hard to blame the film for in my view)

Frederik B, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:00 (two years ago) link

The guy who played JFK was Danish!

I thought you mean Peter Sarsgaard, he's got to be Danish somewhere down the line.

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:03 (two years ago) link

Wiki says two paternal great-great-grandparents. It's not a Danish surname, though, so I would have guessed Sweden.

Frederik B, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:08 (two years ago) link

ay freddy b tony manero is no way 5th on the list jesus

also fuga apparently is crap

Islamic State of Mind (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 23:15 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

ach, really wasn't that keen on Neruda at all. the whole meta thing fell a bit flat for me, and the chase aspect of it was without any sort of jeopardy or urgency to make it seem remotely compelling

Islamic State of Mind (jim in vancouver), Friday, 27 January 2017 20:19 (two years ago) link

chilean press prosaically and provincially annoyed at the depiction of neruda

Islamic State of Mind (jim in vancouver), Friday, 27 January 2017 20:20 (two years ago) link

I should never see a film on a Friday night--may have nodded off for about 10 minutes early on. I'd like to watch it again at home a few months from now. I found the conception of Jackie Kennedy as really caustic and embittered--things like her line about de Gaulle on a tank--but drifting in and out of her prescribed and more proper role intriguing, and some of the visuals were nice.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 January 2017 02:42 (two years ago) link

Neruda's the better film, but not by much. Weirdly minor.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 January 2017 02:59 (two years ago) link

One of the weirdest things in Jackie: early on--maybe it's the first time she speaks in the recreation of the White House Tour interview--it's hard not to notice how much she sounds like Marilyn Monroe, and right then you hear her say something about the Monroe Room.

clemenza, Saturday, 28 January 2017 13:45 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

not sure where else to post this

saw Larrain’s Tony Manero yesterday. I thought it was just going to be a dark comedy about a man with a John Travolta / Saturday Night Fever obsession.

I guess you could call it a black comedy but it turned out to be barbarous and unsettling, with a memorable final scene

Dan S, Sunday, 8 September 2019 00:06 (one month ago) link

Post Mortem was also interesting. It was apparently filmed in a 2.66:1 aspect ratio using Lomo lenses on 16mm film, and had beautiful subdued colors

didn't love this quite as much, but the final scene was as memorable as the one in Tony Manero

Dan S, Tuesday, 17 September 2019 02:36 (one month ago) link

No is a little more conventional as a film than Tony Manero or Post Mortem

Dan S, Sunday, 29 September 2019 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

I’m really impressed by Alfredo Castro after seeing three films featuring him now

Dan S, Sunday, 29 September 2019 22:41 (two weeks ago) link

Castro is very good! Check out From Afar as well, it has gorgeous cinematography by Sergio Armstrong (Larrain's usual photographer) and a great part for Castro.

No was the first I saw of Larrain, and I kind of dismissed him as a crafty stylist. Then I saw El Club and loved it. No still seems funny, feel good and slight tome, but I like it a bit more, since it really is funny. It also helps that it's a bit removed from the hype of 'this TRUE STORY shows the power of advertising!' which but me off at the time. Now it seems more in line with Larrain's interest in storytelling and how it shapes our lives.

Frederik B, Sunday, 29 September 2019 23:11 (two weeks ago) link

I’ve been continuing to watch his films. I just saw El Club. Like Tony Manero and Post Mortem it is solemn but also incredibly savage and strange. It also has beautiful photography, with back-lit washed-out images

Dan S, Thursday, 10 October 2019 01:06 (one week ago) link

will watch From Afar

Dan S, Thursday, 10 October 2019 01:07 (one week ago) link

A story about institutionalization of denial. The pious moral compromise of the final scene in El Club is another subtly shocking ending for Larrain, it seems like a signature for him

Dan S, Thursday, 10 October 2019 02:44 (one week ago) link


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