Last April, when it was announced that History Channel was planning to feature an eight-hour miniseries on the most famous American family in 2011, I mentally plotted the show as a “must-see.” I am a Kennedy watcher and I love checking out vintage images (of JFK, Jackie, etc.) and the modern pictures (of Rose Schlossberg). I’ve seen “A Woman Named Jackie”, “Jackie, Ethel, Joan,” and regret not having seen “Kennedy”, starring Martin Sheen and Blair Brown.
I liked the idea of Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper playing the brothers Jack and Bobby and even welcomed Brit Tom Wilkinson to play the indomitable Irishman, Joe Kennedy, Sr. But Katie Holmes as Jackie is quite the shocker.
Sure, they are both brunettes and they both have round eyes and square faces but the presence and the aura is just not there. Blair Brown, Roma Downey and Jill Hennessy are also doe-eyed brunettes but they certainly projected a semblance of Jackie’s aura.
Throughout the rest of 2010, pictures of the principal photography were posted online. The most easily recognizable re-enactments were that of the 1958 Hyannis Port beach scene with John, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy and the assassination and funeral of JFK. Readers caught a glimpse of Katie playing dress up (yes, with real-life daughter TomKitten, I mean, Suri) on tow with Isabella Cruise. The hair was properly amplified into the bouffant and the clothes were cheaply made. The pink suit worn in Dallas was poorly made for the min-series – it had very little to nothing of the texture of the original suit. Worst of all was a shot of Katie’s pigeon-toed stance – one never saw Mrs. Kennedy stand in that manner.
So limping towards 2011 was a much scrutinized, much-awaited mini series – then History Channel dumped it by saying the material was more drama than history. Well, we are talking about the Kennedys – it is drama enlarged by history. How can you not when you have womanizing politicians, sex goddesses, fashion icons and orphaned children coupled with conspiracies of the highest levels? Anyway, the producers have shopped the mini-series to Showtime, who has reportedly junked it as well.
I saw the trailer just two hours ago and Katie Holmes is every bit as terrible as I thought she would be. The voice is Joey Potter and the look is one of the millions of Jackie Look-alikes from the ’60’s. Barry Pepper, who I most vividly recall as Sniper Jackson from “Saving Private Ryan”, came across as intense as RFK and Greg Kinnear had JFK’s presidential eyebags down pat.
Here’s the trailer and judge for yourself