Jackie

I watched Match Game before going out to the library.  From the weather forecast, I was expecting more of a hard and steady rain all day.  I watched an episode of The Ascent of Man and was rather surprised to see the birth of a baby right there on the screen.  That’s not something I would see on KQED in 2016.  I waited for the 1:15 showing of “Jackie” with Natalie Portman.  A lot of the movie is timely, with the transition in the White House from Obama to Trump.  When Jackie says that there will never be another Camelot, it seems so true when you think about the Trump campaign and these last days before the inauguration.  I couldn’t totally believe in Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, and there were some moments when I thought she was referring to movie star fame when she was in character.  I don’t think I learned too much about Jackie Kennedy from seeing this movie.  She seemed conscious of controlling her public image, reminding me of various movie stars and rock stars over the years.  Some of the reenacted scenes are startling, like the plane ride back to Washington, and the visiting to Arlington National Cemetery.  Peter Sarsgaard was Robert Kennedy, and he did have an interesting moment when he ordered LBJ around a bit.  Greta Gerwig was the Social Secretary Nancy Tuckerman.  It was a bit surprising to see Gerwig in a movie that wasn’t a comedy.  John Hurt played a priest.  Billy Crudup was the journalist Theodore H. White, who was interviewing Jackie.  I found the flashback structure of the movie not really to my liking.  I don’t know why the present had to be an interview, of all things.  One thing I thought was lacking at the core was Jackie’s relationship to the president.  He was the one who was making history.  I couldn’t help wondering about Natalie Portman’s hair, especially as she took a shower.  One scene I liked was her putting on Richard Burton on the record player.  The movie made me think about the various moments of American history I’ve lived through, the latest being the recent election, and also about the death of my brother.  The movie was effective in making me feel that I was right there witnessing all of this.  I also thought about the Obama family moving their things out of the White House.  This film was at one time set to have Rachel Weisz as the star and Darren Aronofsky as the director.  I thought I could detect some traces of Aronofsky in the film that was made.  I wondered about what happened in Jackie’s life in the four months between Robert’s death and her marriage to Aristotle Onassis.  A doctor discovered a swollen lymph node, leading to chemotherapy and her death within six months on May 19, 1994 at age 64.  She died one month after Richard Nixon died.  “Jackie” is a movie with a lot of good qualities, and I think I’m going to remember seeing it during these last days of 2016 for a long time.  I heard the news that Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.  Some of the people who died on December 24 include John Muir (1914), Bernard Herrmann (1975), Peter Lawford (1984), John Osborne (1994), James Komack (1997), Toshiro Mifune (1997), Oscar Peterson (2007), Harold Pinter (2008), Jack Klugman (2012), and Charles Durning (2012).  Today is a birthday for Lee Daniels (57).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for December 24, The Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was the Number One single in 1961.  In 1965, The Beatles earned a gold record for their “Rubber Soul” album.  In 1973, Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers was arrested for possession of marijuana.  In 1990, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married.

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