Review: Jackie and Oopjen (2020)

Jackie and Oopjen (2020)

Directed by: Annemarie van de Mond | 90 minutes | family, comedy, adventure | Actors: Frouke Verheijde, Sarah Bannier, Karina Smulders, Saar van Aken, Leny Breederveld, Bert Hana, Jaap Spijkers, Jochen Otten, Karmela Shako, Roben Mitchell, Dick van den Toorn, Gürkan Küçüksentürk, Ron Fresen, Sieger Sloot, Tanja Jess, Annabelle Zandbergen, Judith Edixhoven, Monika van der Marel, Elysa Pinas, Marijke Arentsen, Ruud Borra, Hicham Sabir, Nick Golterman, Abatutu, Peter Rene

About five years ago they were suddenly in the news: Marten and Oopjen. The two life-size portrait paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn from 1634 were acquired in 2015 for some 160 million euros – with support from both the Dutch and the French state – after long negotiations from the immensely wealthy Rothschild family, with the intention of displaying them alternately in the Louvre. in Paris and the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum. Officially, the Dutch state is the owner of the painting by Marten Soolmans and that of his wife Oopjen Coppit is in the hands of the French. After hanging in the Louvre for several months, the portraits were moved to Amsterdam at the end of June 2016, where they were given a place in the Night Watch Room and immediately stole the hearts of museum visitors. The paintings now star in the Dutch youth film ‘Jackie en Oopjen’ (2020) by Annemarie van de Mond (‘HannaHannaH’, 2007), who was granted permission to shoot in the Rijksmuseum, which gives the film the necessary authenticity.

The main character in ‘Jackie en Oopjen’ is twelve-year-old Jackie (nice role by the talented Frouke Verheijde), who is a regular at the Rijksmuseum because her mother Mouna (Karina Smulders) has an important job there. The film starts on the day on which the museum’s new acquisitions – the paintings by Marten and Oopjen – are presented to the press. While her mother is busy speaking to the journalists and entertaining the delegation that has come over from France, Jackie wanders around the museum. Then she suddenly gets an earring thrown at her head. It turns out to be from Oopjen (Sarah Bannier), who stepped out of her painting. Oopjen is looking for her younger sister Aaltje, who has also been immortalized on canvas, but by a less renowned painter than Rembrandt and therefore does not hang in the Rijksmuseum. It is not clear why she is looking for her sister, and how it is possible that she can step out of her painting but not Marten. The focus here is on the culture shock that a seventeenth-century young woman experiences if she were shot three hundred years into the future with a time machine. Because they didn’t drink water in 1634, that was life-threatening. Instead, Oopjen drinks beer, unabashedly burps hard and is introduced to all kinds of modern devices of which she has no idea how they work or what they are for.

While Mouna is busy figuring out what’s wrong with her painting and trying to hide the fact that something is wrong at all costs, Jackie forms a special friendship with the girl in the painting. Together they look for the artwork on which Aaltje is depicted. They are thwarted by the silly antique dealer Herbert Vos (Bert Hana) and his rather overbearing mother (Leny Breederveld). It is of course not surprising that Oopjen, complete with hood, collar and stiff dress, thunders through Amsterdam with the young Jackie, visits her school and even does a TikTok dance on Dam Square without people asking questions. very believable. But in a movie like this, sometimes you just have to take it for granted. Because ‘Jackie and Oopjen’ is above all a cheerful and adventurous film, in which young people are introduced to museums and art in a light-hearted way. Bannier doesn’t really look like Oopjen and is very smooth and modern in her actions, despite the heavy clothing she wears throughout the film. Verheijde, however, jumps off the canvas as the young heroine who takes Oopjen by the hand and introduces her to the Netherlands in the twenty-first century.

If you want to know who Oopjen Coppit was, this film won’t get you much further than you probably already were. Little is said about her life and background (except that her father traded gunpowder). But for children between the ages of six and twelve, this is a cheerful, funny story in which a painting comes to life and experiences recognizable adventures for the target group.

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