- Original Title: Jackie
- Year: 2016
- Director: Pablo Larraín
- Screenplay: Noah Oppenheim
- Cast: Natalie Portman (Jackie Kennedy), Peter Sarsgaard (Robert F. Kennedy), Greta Gerwig (Nancy Tuckerman), Billy Crudup (the Journalist), John Hurt (the Priest), Richard E. Grant (William Walton), John Carroll Lynch (Lyndon B. Johnson), Beth Grant (Lady Bird Johnson), Caspar Phillipson (John F. Kennedy)
The movie follows the immediate 72 hours after the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy in 1963, as witnessed by his wife, Jackie Kennedy.
I went to watch this movie for two reasons: Natalie Portman and the fact that it was a biographical drama, which is one of my favourite movie genres. Being Italian and being born at the end of the 80s, I know the Kennedys and all its surrounding aura only thanks to my history books and to the various tv documentaries. The same applies to Jacqueline Kennedy, whose looks, fashion taste and marriage to Aristotle Onasssis were the only facts that I knew about her. For these reasons, the movie was a complete revelation for me, or shall I say Natalie’s performance was.
Jackie was first shown at the Venice Film Festival last year and it is partly based on the interview published for Life magazine and done by Theodore H. White, played by Billy Crudup, which is the starting point of the movie and the one that defines its story line.
Every one knows what happened (do we?) that day in Texas in 1963 and the pictures of Jackie Kennedy wearing her pink Chanel suits covered with blood and trying to cover John Kennedy’s body have been seen worldwide, and we certainly didn’t need another movie about it. What has never been shown and exposed was the private, deeply intimate and psychological portrait of a woman who found herself in the middle of one of the most tragic moment in America’s history while the whole world was watching. And that’s already dramatic enough.
Natalie Portman is a dazzling Jackie: her moves, her calm, yet sometimes frightening manners, her accent are the perfect portrait of the former First Lady of the United States. If you close your eyes for a moment, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether the voice on the screen is hers or Jackie’s. She gives body and soul to the character, but in the end that’s all you are left with: an average movie interestingly put together where the only highlight is Portman’s herself. And the music. The score, curated by the British Mica Levi, is as dramatic and intense as Natalie’s performance and it follows her struggle and sorrow faithfully throughout the music, that is no wonder that it has been nominated for Best Original Score at this year’s Oscar.
- Overall Rating: 7.5/10
- Recommended for: every Natalie Portman fan who likes biopics on the big screen.