xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
There are two movies in "Jackie," Pablo Larraín's film about Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) immediately before, during and after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. One of these movies is just OK. The other is exceptional. The first one keeps undermining the second.
Movie number one is a fictionalized biography in which a famous subject sits for a long interview, here with a magazine reporter played by Billy Crudup (unnamed but based on biographer Theodore H. White, who wrote “For President Kennedy: An Epilogue," a Life article that ran one week after President John F. Kennedy's assassination). This one is a movie where an important person contemplates his or her place in history and tries to control how they are perceived. It's fuzzy and overreaching and has been done better elsewhere.
The individual scenes in this "historical figure contemplates self" film are competently done and sometimes a good deal more than that, thanks to undertones of empathy and condescension in the dialogue. The reporter is often condescending to the former First Lady. Sometimes he even interrupts her when she's speaking or tries to put words in her mouth or dismiss her concerns, which shows how not-powerful even a very powerful woman can be when she's in a room with a man who's been told since birth that his words and actions are inherently more important than any woman's. This material in this second film connects to moments in the inevitable flashbacks to Jackie's heyday in Camelot and right after John F. Kennedy's murder. We see Jackie, often the lone woman in a room full of men, trying to assert herself and say what she wants and needs, only to be told (by White House staffers, military people, even her RFK) that it's impossible—because of security or protocol or precedent or simply because the men just mysteriously know better than her—and she should give up.
But the framing device is not ultimately necessary (few are, alas) because, whether the reporter and Jackie are talking about what's on the record or off the record, and whether what Jackie is saying is objectively true or merely self-serving, we have already seen everything both of them might have had to say illustrated, in a more immediate and often wrenching way, by the flashbacks.