Jackie is the upcoming biographical drama starring Natalie Portman as former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination of her husband, US President John F. Kennedy. It’s been getting rave reviews from its screenings at various film festivals, and picked up a number of awards to boot, so let’s take a look.
The official plot synopsis is as follows:
Jackie is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination.
Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.
In case you’re wondering (like I was) how Camelot fits into this story, her husband was a fan of the Broadway musical Camelot, and during an interview following his death referenced it by saying, “there will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot“.
It’s very tempting to write this off as Oscar bait – it’s an emotionally-charged biographical drama about one of the most beloved women in America’s history during a time of great loss that’s released just before the cutoff date for this season.
However that cynicism would be doing a great disservice to Natalie Portman, who looks to be delivering a stunning performance as someone struggling to deal with great personal tragedy in the light of overwhelming public scrutiny, while at the same time being the face of a nation’s grief.
What do you think?
Jackie is due for release in the US on 2 December. Directed by Pablo Larrain, with the story by Noah Oppenheim, it stars Natalie Portman, Greta Gerwig, Peter Sarsgaard, Max Casella, John Carroll Lynch, Billy Crudup and John Hurt.
Last Updated: November 15, 2016