Eppler: "Jackie," "The Founder" are fascinating biopics

Eppler: "Jackie," "The Founder" are fascinating biopics

"Jackie" is an elegant, moving portrait of the former First Lady and her grace and stoicism in the face of unspeakable devastation.

Instead of a sprawling biography, this movie is focused on just a few days of her life - perhaps the most crucial ones: the assassination of her husband and the days following as the nation looked to her in a time of mourning. 

Natalie Portman's performance goes beyond mere impersonation, although it is flawless on that front. She goes further finding the broken heart of a widow dealing with residual anger at a philandering husband and the grief for two children and a country left fatherless. It's a lovely movie about loss and legacy.

"The Founder" isn't a political movie per se, but it feels like the perfect picture to usher in the Trump Administration - a film about the rough business of building an empire.

Michael Keaton is terrific as Ray Kroch, who turned a little burger stand called McDonald's into an international brand worth billions. Kroch was impressed by the revolutionary style of food service invented by the McDonalds brothers, played wonderfully by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch, and he convinced the brothers to let him franchise restaurants across the country.

But that business relationship soured with success as Kroch looked to cut corners for more profits. It's a fascinating story, and Keaton is able to walk a tightrope as an occasionally admirable and sympathetic scoundrel. 

It's surprising, sometimes sad and in the end it's satisfying - not unlike what you might find in a fast food order.

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