Friday, September 27, 2013 , Updated 4:58 p.m., November 13, 2013
Free tickets available to film screening of Letters to Jackie in Dallas Arts District
Among the actors: Kirsten Dunst, Octavia Spencer, Laura Linney, Channing Tatum, Zooey Deschanel, and Anne Hathaway.
Letters to Jackie official trailer
DALLAS Letters to Jackie, the latest film from Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Bill Couturié, has had a few screenings in recent months, including ones along the festival circuit and one-night-only stints at the Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano just last week. But on November 14 the film based on Ellen Fitzpatrick‘s 2010 book will play in front of its largest audience to date when it screens at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at 7:30 p.m.
And, as a bonus, admission is free. Tickets are available now here.
[UPDATE: A new batch of tickets are available first come, first served, on the day of the show. No RSVP needed.]
For the movie, Couturié assembled an all-star cast to read selected missives sent to Jacqueline Kennedy in the days and hours following the assassination of President John Kennedy as they drove through Dealey Plaza. Among the actors: Kirsten Dunst, Octavia Spencer, Chris Cooper, Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Betty White, Laura Linney, Channing Tatum and Zooey Deschanel. And then there is Anne Hathaway, who reads a letter penned by lifelong Dallas resident Janice Crabtree Bunnell, who, along with the filmmaker, is expected to attend the screening.
“It’s an astonishing letter,” says Couturié in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “It sets up the whole thing, because she was there. And all the footage in that section of the film is from Dallas on the day.” The film was provided by the Sixth Floor Museum, where Bunnell’s oral history of November 22, 1963, has been preserved.
“This film, using these heartfelt letters, shares both the legacy of President Kennedy and the collective grief of a nation in a powerful way,” said Doug Curtis, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, in a prepared statement. “It is a thoughtful and respectful way for us to mark this anniversary, and we are pleased to provide this presentation free of charge for the community.”
Letters to Jackie had its official debut earlier this month at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.
It was no easy thing sorting through the missives: Jackie Kennedy received some 1.5 million condolence letters following her husband’s death. They wouldn’t see the light of day until the publication of Letters to Jackie in 2010, for which Fitzpatrick selected 250. Couturié trimmed it even further — to 20 — and intersperses through the film footage of the president, sometimes at his funniest.
“My film is a people’s history of the presidency,” says Couturié. “Something I discovered in these letters was he and Jackie so reflected many other men and women who’d gone though World War II. Even though he was rich, even though he was powerful, even though he was beautiful they related to him. And they related to Jackie as a wife. And they related to their two children.”