In theaters from director Pablo Larrain and Fox Searchlight Pictures is an intimate look at a woman the world knows as “Jackie.”
Jacqueline Bovier Kennedy (Natalie Portman) is the First Lady of the United States along with being a mother and the wife of President John F. Kennedy Caspar Phillipson). After the tragic assassination of the President in Dallas, Texas, Jackie brings a journalist (Billy Crudup) to talk about her role entering the White House, the days before and after the death of the President.
From taking on the role of redecorating the White House and her many television appearances, Jackie brought glamour and glass to Washington. With the help of her assistant Nancy Tuckerman (Greta Gerwig), the First Lady is keeping the pace of what is expected of her.
In an instant that all changed and now Jackie must shift from being First Lady to a widow with two children. Leaning on brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard) it is a confusing time as Lyndon Johnson (John Carrol Lynch) must now keep the government running.
Packing her children to leave the residence, Jackie must also decide how she wishes to proceed with a presidential funeral. In the midst of her pain and grief, it is in a single moment that the plans for a nation’s grieving fall into place. These are her words and her actions that help us all remember Camelot!
Portman as Jackie is impeccable from start to finish. Costume designers should be winning a big gold Oscar statue for the beautiful gowns and dresses that are completely Jackie. From the pink pill box hat and suit to the dress worn in the telecast from the White House, the viewers will be transported with Portman’s portrayal of demeanor, grace and style.
Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy is devastated by the death of his brother and knows he must be there for Jackie and the children. Caught in the middle between trying to save the legacy of his brother’s work as President and the incoming Leadership, Sarsgaard gives an emotional performance that I truly enjoyed.
Crudup as the Journalist knocks on the door of Jackie Kennedy believing her to be a woman devastated by death but instead finds a person of amazing strength, a bit of a bite and totally in control.
Other cast include John Hurt as The Priest, Richard E. Grant as Bill Walton, Beth Grant as Lady Bird Johnson, and Max Casella as Jack Valenti.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Jackie” four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. This film is absolutely stunning on so many layers and levels. It is a unique telling of a time in history that has been covered hundreds of ways but never from the perspective of Jackie Kennedy herself.
Portman brings an impeccably dressed, soft-spoken First Lady to the screen that does have cutting moments when tested. Watching the film it felt like a voyeuristic look at her pain and emotions at a time most private in her life.
The cinematographer is absolutely stunning and the score didn’t drag out emotions from the viewer but instead enhance them. The costuming for every character in the film brought amazing believability to the time frame the film portrays.
In truth, I was mesmerized by the film from start to finish, because I didn’t know what to expect. What struck home for me was when Jackie plays the song “Camelot” and Richard Burton’s voice rings out telling the story of another fallen believer.
“Jackie” is a gorgeous film that should receive every high praise available. On my Top 10 list “Jackie” is number nine!
In the end — she will make them remember the legacy known as Camelot.