When I woke up yesterday morning – having seen Jackie on Thursday – I was saddened to read about the death of John Hurt. He was a brilliant actor who did such a great job in shows like I, Claudius and made a small but lasting impression in Doctor Who.
But before I read about his passing, I was about to write this review and say that “…even John Hurt was poor by his standards”. I wondered if it would go down well and be right to criticise the performance of someone who had just died and who no doubt everyone would be sympathetic towards.
I decided it was fair enough; Hurt was poor by his standards. It took me until he’d been in three scenes to realise that he was playing an Irishman, as if he only decided to put on the accent half way through. I was disappointing.
But then I was disappointed with Jackie in general.
It’s one of these bleak movies that’s clearly trying for an Oscar rather than looking to entertain.
Now I know that a movie about a woman who has just lost her husband isn’t going to be light or whimsical, but for me, the bleakness was slapped on far too thickly, with depressing and relentless incidental music played over almost every scene.
And whether or not she sounded like her or not, all I could see for the most part was Natalie Portman putting on a funny voice. It’s the complete opposite of Tom Hanks in Sully.
Most of all though, it just wasn’t that enjoyable. It felt like something interesting was going on in the background but we were being prompted to focus on the dull stuff. And at the last moment – as if they knew the film had been as dull as dishwater and they needed to wake people up – they finally show JFK getting his head blown off. That seemed very cheap.
So overall, I thought this was a waste of my time. On the plus side, the only way is up for movies in 2017.