REFLECTIONS ON "JACKIE": PART IX
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) JFK+50 begins the year 2017 with a review of "Jackie" starring Natalie Portman. "Jackie" is a Fox Searchlight Pictures film directed by Pablo Larrain.
The screenplay was written by Noah Oppenheim. Released on December 2, 2016, the movie has an "R" rating and lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Moving forward in the film to a scene in a park outside Washington, D.C. Jackie and the Priest* walk down along a path.
"No one understands the pain (Jack) was in and how loyal he was.** Some of his friends were so crude. But he could get caught up in it. Still, he was a great father."
Mrs. Kennedy continues...
"I picture him in that rocking chair in his office. Caroline and John at his feet."
The Priest responds...
"Take comfort in that."
Jackie answers sadly...
"I can't. They're mixed up with all the others."***
*Richard McSorley was a Jesuit priest & professor of peace studies at Georgetown University. In 1962, he "befriended Robert Kennedy's family" & tutored his children. RM became a "friend & confidant" of JFK & Jackie & counseled the family in the aftermath of JFK's death.
**While it was well-known during his presidency that JFK had a "bad back," the extent of the pain he suffered from it was not. Other health issues that the President suffered were also kept from the public. His image was one of youth, health and vigor. Some sources, however, speculate that he might not have lived through a second term.
***Jackie is referring to the some of today's well-publicized darker side of her husband's character. When the Priest says "Your husband loved you, Mrs. Kennedy. I'm sure of it," she answers "I seem to remember there being more to our vows."
We feel the movie "Jackie" handled the issue of JFK's personal failings well. As we grew older after his death and these things were made public, we came to understand all too clearly that John F. Kennedy was, after all, a human being. If we expected him to be perfect, it was too much of an expectation for anyone, a president or otherwise.
"Jackie-Screenplay," by Script Pipeline, www.scriptpipeline.com/
"Remembering Richard McSorley, S.J.," by John Dear, www.fatherjohndear.org/