Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ronan Farrow just did not care for Jackie, thank you very much

Photo: Michael Stewart/FilmMagic (Getty Images), Screenshot: YouTube

Ronan Farrow is extremely good at his job. This is well-known. He broke or helped break some of the biggest stories of sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct of the last several years, alongside reporters like Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. And like Kantor and Twohey, he has a new book out, one that’s made some huge, and predictably upsetting, news this week. All of this is to say that there are more important things about Farrow’s Catch And Kill than the bit that follows. Much more.

But also wow, the man did not care for Jackie. (We did.)

This news came to our attention courtesy of New York’s Hunter Harris, who points us to excerpts shared on Twitter by Variety’s Kate Aurthur. While reading Farrow’s book, and subsequently reporting on its contents—specifically, the allegation that Matt Lauer raped former NBC News colleague Brooke Nevils in 2014—Aurthur noted not one, not two, but several references to the 2016 film, which starred Natalie Portman, and they are pointed.

The Lauer story is the important one. This one is just entertaining.

Jackie’s screenwriter was NBC News president Noah Oppenheim. Farrow alleges that Oppenheim attempted to squash (at best) his coverage of Harvey Weinstein—Vanity Fair has more reporting on that today. However, he also alleges that Oppenheim made a shitty movie, and that The New Yorker’s David Remnick agrees:

“He wrote Jackie,” I replied.

“That,” Remnick said gravely, “was a bad movie.”

But that isn’t it! Farrow also describes Jackie, which rules, as a “morose biopic” that features “a lot of dialogue-free shots of the woman in question pacing around with tear-streaked mascara.” (He is not wrong about the mascara; he is wrong about the mascara being bad.)


He also makes time to rag on the Divergent series, which, okay, that’s fine:

Oppenheim had also co-written an adaptation of the young adult postapocalyptic adventure The Maze Runner, which made money, and a sequel to the Divergent series, which did not.


Aurther also notes that Farrow quotes his mother, Mia Farrow, as sharing his disdain for one of the best movies of 2016. We salute Mr. Farrow for his excellent work as an investigative reporter, but will continue to think that Jackie is very, very good.

New York’s Hunter Harris agrees. In closing, here is a children’s treasury of Hunter Harris tweets about Jackie.


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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.