Haunting uncomfortable music starts the film and follows throughout, with the exception of excerpts from Camelot, in this sad and lonely widow's portrait. It is a film about Jackie, a First Lady with incredible dignity and poise, as she copes with the unspeakable tragedy.
This is a very stylistic film, with beautiful sets and costume design befitting of this "royal" family. But these sets are stark, conveying a loneliness and isolation in the face of enormous public attention.
I didn't realize that the Kennedys were the first to open the White House up to the public. The exposure and access they allowed in order to bring them closer to the American people was a first and the White House walk about interview Jackie did with CBS plays an important backdrop to the film. Jackie was happy, developing her role as First Lady, revamping the White House and showcasing America's history.
The film moves very slowly, meandering, as if taking the sedated pace of the mind of someone who is suffering from terrible loss. She seems detached from the here and now, and at the same time fighting against pain to preserve her dignity and all that she and her husband had begun building for themselves as President and First Lady. She rambles quite a bit with her soft voice to the reporter who has come to interview her, often referring to the past beyond the event of his death as if to make sense about how she even ended up there. The reporter is not to share some of which she shares. In one instance she refers to their lack of intimacy in the bedroom and JFK's boorish behaviour with his buddies, but with a steadfast notion that deep down "he was a good man" that he always came home to "us".
You walk with her as she wonders in her loneliness and in her attempt to figure out what she should do for Jack, but more importantly as the film progresses, what she must do for children and herself.
While this slow paced film will not appeal to everyone, I appreciated this new perspective.