Jackie, by Pablo Larrain, starring Natalie Portman, could be just another biopic. It could be just another movie that wants to tell the –unfortunate- story of the Kennedy family. But it’s not like that. The movie, with three nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards, including Best Actress, presents for the first time the events that followed the assassination of John Kennedy from the personal and very intimate point of view of Jacqueline, the wife now without her husband and –apparently- without a place to go.
In the few days after the dramatic event there are so many things to do and, the now ex-first lady has all the eyes on her, who has to make the funeral arrangements, to pack her bags, mourn the devastating loss, communicate it to the children, and organize the birthday of the little John John three days after his father’s death. But above all Jackie must find a way to ensure not only her husband’s legacy, what he did for the Country, but also her legacy, and find her place in the world.
The frame of the movie narration is an interview, the first that Jacqueline gave, with a journalist of Life magazine, to trace back the latest events, choices, critics, doubts and fears. Where the last ones, of course, won’t be mentioned in the article. Yes, because the film makes also a reflection on celebrity and American society, as well as a portrait of a determined and courageous woman, hard to frame.
The language is important, like the outfits and poise, and Natalie Portman knows it very well, who studied the ex-first lady precise diction almost obsessively, giving life to a character that annoys enough to get the public totally involved. This masterful interpretation of a very complex subject, will bring her perhaps her second Oscar, after 2010 one, won thanks to Black Swan.