Some people like to believe in fairy tales — like those at the center of most Hollywood productions — but Joyce Carol Oates isn’t one of them.
Instead, the renowned author is praising the awards-bound Pablo Larraín drama Jackie for its ability to reflect painful realities about the contemporary political landscape.
“Whatever I’d expected from Jackie, it is quite different,” the 78-year-old wrote on Twitter. “Highly stylized, not so much dramatic as elegiac, meditative. Jackie feels choreographed, stately & theatrical; how one’s deepest self is turned inside-out as a public ‘historic’ spectacle.'”
Jackie premiered in September on the fall festival circuit before traveling through awards season with significant praise for Natalie Portman’s lead performance as Jacqueline Kennedy, who endured intense public scrutiny in the days following the 1963 assassination of her husband — a struggle the filmmaker has connected to the image of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama in the past.
Before launching into a critique of President-elect Donald Trump and the mainstream media’s “ridiculing” of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Oates lauded Larraín’s film for its thematically critical portrait of the “privileged” elite’s myopic view of the world and its consequences on the middle and lower classes — particularly focusing on Jackie‘s depiction of Kennedy’s death at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald.
“In Jackie, [a] powerful scene of recalled violence, husband/President shot — in wife’s anguish viewer feels tragedy of the high brought low. Nietzsche interpreted ‘humility’ of religion as false/ resentment: the unarticulated wish of the low to bring the high down to their level,” she tweeted. “Assassination of John F. Kennedy played out like a tragic rite: young royal at the height of power, brought low by a commoner’s shot. A ‘shot out of a crowd’ — revenge of the anonymous against the powerful elite — grotesque form of democracy. one explanation of gun love.”
Read all of Oates’ tweets about Jackie, which is now playing in theaters, below.