Jackie, directed by Pablo Larrain and featuring Natalie Portman as the eponymous protagonist, is the story of Jacqueline Kennedy’s life in the aftermath of her husband’s notorious assassination. Unlike many biopics, the film continually switches tense, oscillating between Jackie’s time in the White House before her husband’s death, the raw moments of the assassination itself, and her struggle afterwards to give Kennedy a worthy and momentous funeral while attempting to solidify his presidential legacy.
The narrative reveals layer after layer of the famously stoic and composed First Lady, going beyond the demure wife of the President and revered fashion icon to reveal a much more private and intimate version of Jacqueline Kennedy. We see both her vulnerability and tenacity as she struggles with her grief while attempting to uphold her duties to her children and late husband.
There are many triumphs in this film. Real-life historical footage is integrated seamlessly into the movie, including scenes of the White House and JFK’s funeral. The set of the White House is meticulously detailed, and costume designer Madeline Fontaine brings Jackie’s renowned wardrobe to life – in particular the pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat that were worn on the day of the assassination. Portman’s portrayal of Jackie has also been heavily praised – right down to the voice and mannerisms, there’s no doubt that Portman successfully mirrors the real Jackie in her performance. Though at times the movie feels somewhat stagnant and certain scenes are very drawn out, the decadent costumes and sets, the historical elements and Portman’s insightful portrayal of Jackie all make this a film worth seeing.
Jackie is out in cinemas now.
All images via Jackie's IMDB page.