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I found this watchable, as I am interested in anything to do with Jack and
Jackie Kennedy, but it was also very cliched. It was as if every anecdote
about the Kennedys had been translated into a line of dialogue; an
abbreviated approach to a film that doesn't work, as people don't sit
and talk about their lives like that ("And your dad said 'Ich bin ein
Berliner', which means 'I'm a jelly donut'! He really did!'
Some of the casting worked, some didn't. Joanne Whalley looked the part on a basic level (brown hair and eyes), but Blair Brown in 'Kennedy' was more convincing. And Whalley's interpretation of Jackie grated on my nerves. She came across as too noble, and without faults of her own; constantly being emotionally rebuffed by the men in her life. I know this film was about Jackie, but it didn't seem like an honest portrayal. The actors and actresses playing Joe and Rose Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and the adult Caroline were effective (whereas the child actors playing Caroline and John Jr. were insulting!)
I must admit, I was moved by Jack and Bobby's deaths, particularly the archive footage from the time. And Jackie telling her children about their father's death (did she, though? Wasn't it the nanny?), before rushing into the hall to let out her own grief, was a heartbreaking scene.
A few moments of 'dramatic licence' (from what I could gather after reading different accounts of events beforehand), and a very summarised life for Jackie, despite running to three hours, but not an out and out insult. It kept me involved throughout.
All together this bio gives little information outside a typical
JFK/Jackie bio. The script is very cliché, as are the stories
introduced. I highly doubt that anyone familiar with the Kennedy story
will be surprised by any of the content in this movie. Some of the
meatier topics that could have been explored were only glossed over,
including: Jackie's first pregnancy, JFK's unsuccessful VP nomination,
the original courtship of JFK and Jackie, the candidacy of JFK for the
presidency. I feel these issues had an especially extreme importance on
Jackies life but were downplayed in this film.
I did enjoy the use of aging the appearance of the film for certain scenes to replicate, it was very sweet. I also liked the emphasis on Jackies relationship with RFK, portrayed by Andrew McCarthy v. well. The chemistry between Whalley and Matheson peaked in the scenes from Jack's back surgery to Jackie taking Jack back after the stillborn birth.
I was surprised that the film did not delve further into Jackie's family's financial hardships, most notably the fact that Hughie began running out of money early on and Joe ended up paying for the wedding. The aspect of money was very important and surprisingly missing.
Overall, I think Whalley did a mediocre job as Jackie. Like another poster I agree that she seemed rather regal and above everyone else even if scenes with her own family. Obivously Jackie was stunning and outstanding, but the tone and language used by Whalley made her stand out not in a way I think she intended. Matheson's portrayal of JFK was decent, I've seen worse and I've seen better (Martin Sheen in Kennedy). Together the two seemed very old in appearance for a couple that has been considered two of the youngest most beautiful people to affect politics. McCarthy as RFK was the strongest performance and left me to wonder if the quality of the film might have been better with him in the JFK role. Other notably supporting roles were by Skerritt as Joe Kennedy, Frances Fisher as Janet was pretty strong (but then again, compare it to her role as the b*tchy mom on Titanic and I see little difference), and Ward as Black Jack. Roles I feel could have been portrayed more strongly were Booth as sister Lee, and Hough a Cassini - these relationships were v. imp. to Jackie!
If you are looking for a movie to pass the time, this movie is right for you. If you are looking for a movie to delve into the depths of the Kennedy and most notably Jackie's life I suggest a book (All to Human by Edward Klein)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoilers' warnings: I really like the Kennedy family, but this story is
getting too old. Dead people cannot create any more news. This movie
their lives through Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' perspective, but it still
adds very little or nothing to what is already public knowledge. The
was well done and I felt the casting was really good.
Tom Skerritt (Picket Fences, A River Runs Through It) who I really like and respect as an actor did a wonderful job playing, "Joe Kennedy."
The mini-series was well done but the topic is just too old. There are so many writers, and good scripts out there, how about giving a chance to other people with fresher stories?
I admit I was engrossed the first time, especially with the casting of
Joanne Whalley in the lead but regretfully having caught parts on a
re-run, I was dismayed. Would Jacqueline really be sitting there,
reminiscing about what it meant to be a Kennedy? No: like anyone in the
public eye, you don't stop to think, 'My gosh, I'm a former First
Lady.' A woman who did so much was obviously someone who got on with
The mini-series does deserve some marks for taking us, Forrest Gump-style, through recent American history, and those old enoughnot to mention some history buffsmight like to look at these years through rose-coloured glasses. Sentimentality probably saved this just-below-average mini-series, and gave the studio enough impetus to release it on DVD.
Overall, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis has a very implausible script based on public (and even then, common) knowledge, lacking any true depth or attempts at it, though well-acted.
In my opinion it was Rose Kennedy, she lost 3 sons (Joe Jr., Jack/John,
Bobby) and 1 daughter (Kathleen "Kick"). I've never been all that into the
Kennedy's, for one JFK, in my opinion wasn't much of a president and
Jackie-O was almost singlehandedly responsible for thousands of big cats
dying for the sake fashion. Leaving those two things aside I really did
enjoy this mini-series.
It was a refreshing change from all the Kennedy films where they focus on the assassinations of JFK (and sometimes RFK) because here they were just a bit of the background.
The real trouble I have with this mini-series is that I don't care. I don't care if Jackie suffered because I'm not fond of her. However it was nice to see her relationship (strictly platonical) with Bobby Kennedy, played very nicely by Andrew McCarthy, the only face I recognized in this whole production. There were a lot of funny scenes and the acting was admirable, and I must admit I did shed a tear or two.
Final rating: 7 ½ / 10
I really liked this movie I'm just disappointed that it isn't out on video. I only gave it an 8 because I didn't get to see all of it and since it isn't being released on video I guess I never will. But what I saw I loved. Joanne Whalley is a great actress. I have another of her tv movies on video(Scarlett) and she was wonderful in that too.
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