Natalie Portman is one of the most iconic actresses of our time.
She’s the modern day Audrey Hepburn. Her notoriety which was hailed in Leon and The Black Swan landed her with a role in this political feature film.
It’s no wonder she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Admittedly, a film about JFK isn’t going to appeal to a wide audience, however purely for Portmans portrayal of Jackie Kennedy this film is worth the watch.
Jackie is a tale of one woman’s devotion and admiration of her husband, and the strength it requires in the wake of the death for a woman to overcome who has just lost her husband.
Jackie Kennedy’s quotes have been ingrained in time, after the golden age of The Whitehouse was lost:
“Don’t let it be forgot, that there once was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”
Jackie features as a piece of fiction by an up and coming Chilean director Pablo Larrain.
It’s a dazzling reconstruction and reinvention of the grief that surrounded JFK through the eyes of his widow. Her fragmented state is excellently portrayed by Portman.
We get a view into the agony of this esteemed heroine that valiantly contended with the political chaos, and media invasion. No film review can prepare you for the harrowing scenes of Jackie, peeling the blood stained clothing from her skin moments after the death of her husband before she’s told to pack her bags and leave the Whitehouse.
This film was created to tell her tale. Jackie’s own version of the events, how she had to endure the painfully ceremonious funeral of JFK’s funeral. The film is rife with resonant biographical facts, that make it all the more heart wrenching, you’ll want the tissues handy should you decide to give it a watch. The strength of Portmans character reinvented the first lady, as the first lady of the television age, someone who could manipulate both the printed word and the invasion of the moving image.
The cinematographer looks at Portman through a painfully close kaleidoscope of vanity, heart break, and admirable femininity. The haunted expression on her face as she’s isolated in the most crowded of rooms will stick with you for long after the credits have rolled. Within her cocoon of alienation, we are chilled as we watch her wandering the cavernous encroaching rooms in absolute silence before through her vulnerability, she turns to God. She develops a slightly creepy connection with The Priest, played by the late and great John Hurt.
Simply put, the mise en scene of the film is poignantly orchestrated between the eerie silence and the echo’s that follow Jackie through her isolation, forcing you to feel the agony she lived through during the 60’s which for everyone else in America was lived through fear of war amidst the psychedelia of the era.
Other performances in the film worth a notable mention were made by Peter Sarsgaard and Richard E Grant, who truly created a fully rounded cast.
by Peter Spann
Peter Spann is a business coach, writer, presenter and investor.