Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Richard E. Grant

QuickView: Jackie (2016)

Jackie poster

“I lost track somewhere — what was real, what was performance.”

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie is an unusual biopic that seeks to present the woman through a narrow period of just a few weeks, focused almost exclusively on the assassination of JFK and the immediate aftermath, with occasional flashbacks going only so far as her time in the White House. Those hoping for a broader look at her life will be disappointed. Given the private nature of most scenes, it is evident that most of the script is highly speculative which makes it all the stranger that Jackie often struggles to delve beneath its subject’s iconic surface, with emotional resonance coming mostly from Peter Sarsgaard’s portrayal of the supportive, grieving Bobby Kennedy. The film does pose incisive questions about Jackie’s motivations following the assassination: a kind perspective is that she was preserving JFK’s legacy but a less generous one is that, as a student of history, she was seeking to craft that legacy for her husband and for herself. If nothing else she had certainly become a Kennedy.


QuickView: Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? quad poster

“You can be an asshole if you’re famous. You can’t be unknown and be such a bitch, Lee.”


Based on the true story of Lee Israel, a struggling writer who turned her creativity to forging letters from literary figures, this is a solid drama elevated by two sublime performances at its centre, both earning Oscar nominations. Melissa McCarthy sheds all expectations of her comedic persona to immerse herself in Lee’s deeply disagreeable character. There is no heart of gold hidden beneath the surface, just a human who dislikes the world. Richard E. Grant’s turn as Lee’s gadfly alcoholic accomplice will invariably draw comparisons to Withnail, though the earnest Jack Hock has at least some redeeming features. Although they are plainly reprobates, it is a testament to the performances that an audience can come to appreciate these two characters and will continue to carry them after the credits roll.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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