Jackie (15)

Director Pablo Larraín paints a gritty and intimate portrait of one of most important moments in American history.

The moment that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated shook the world. In Jackie we witness the terrible moment in history through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, Jacqueline  Kennedy (Natalie Portman).

To begin with we follow the stylish duo in the build up to the assassination and it becomes clear that Jackie is so much more than an icon. She has ambition and gusto. But all her hopes of a perfect future with her husband and two small children are dashed on 22nd November 1963.

A man named Lee Harvey Oswald plants two bullets into the President’s head. He dies instantly in the arms of his wife. The country goes into uproar and in the days that proceed the assassination, Oswald is himself assassinated.

Jackie wants nothing more than fitting tribute to her beloved husband. The former First Lady has always had a taste for the finer things and is determine that the funeral is nothing less than beautiful. But plans to parade the streets and walk beside her husband’s casket are dashed when Lydon B. Johnson takes office as the 36th President of the United States.

It becomes a case of Jackie’s determination vs the President’s security concerns. With Robert F. Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard) as her ally Jackie will not rest until her husband receives the farewell he deserves.

The movie is centred around a Life magazine interview betwen Jackie and reporter Theodore H. White (played by Billy Crudup), which took place a week following after the President’s assassination. Jackie gives you a truly unique insight into the First Lady’s world during the days following her husband’s assassination.

She was always known for her extraordinary dignity and poise. Here we gain an in-depth psychological portrait of Jackie as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they helped create.

Natalie Portman’s performance is picture-perfect, from her poise and demeanour to her facial expressions. I can’t think of anyone that could exceed in this role in the way that Portman has.

By Ruth Walker

★★★☆☆

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