Cert: 15 Runtime: 100 mins Director: Pablo Larrain Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Caspar Phillipson, Richard E. Grant and John Hurt
I want to live my life, not record it
Natalie Portman returns to award worthy form with Jackie. Portraying the most famous first lady of them all, Portman has received wide acclaim for her role. The performance seems to have out weighed the film, similar to Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady. Jackie Kennedy for me was an interesting woman, with Darren Aronofksy producing no doubt this will not be just a straight forward biopic. So what is Jackie about? Jackie is a portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Kennedy. 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 portrait of the First Lady as she fights to establish her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that she created and loved so well.
Natalie Portman’ portrayal of Jackie Kennedy is a storm of conflicting emotions. She elicits passion. From the moment she appears on screen she is as captivating as she has ever been. She plays every emotion with the fullness of eyes. She remains reserved yet able to aptly convey a river full of sorrow, yearning, fear, confusion, and vast determination flowing in harmony at all times just underneath the surface. This is a feat few are capable of and even fewer have ever achieved. Her performance here is a landmark of cinema. The culmination of an already great career. The showing of a true artist who understands her craft and the person she is portraying.
Mica Levi’s pounding score of the movie was probably its resounding feature; yes, even more than Portman’s outstanding performance, that is how brilliant it was. Pablo Larrain, who was brave enough to take a risk and make a movie about Jackie Kennedy that wasn’t paint by numbers. I even hesitate to call it a biopic. This is a movie about great personal grievance coupled with change, power and visibility. And it does it all so beautifully too. The visual storytelling gives up something to stare at without begging for you to notice it.the execution isn’t perfect. Some shots have a sort of shaky quality to them which is frankly annoying. I understand that in many ways this film is meant to resemble a documentary, and I wouldn’t mind it if this sort of thing was only present in the older looking footage, but there are certain instances in which it feels totally inappropriate and purposeless. Jackie is truly a new age biopic worth of your time.