Natalie Portman delivers Oscar-worthy performance in poignant biopic of iconic First Lady
When you think about the Kennedy era, most likely the first thing to come to mind is the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the style and poise of the First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. It’s a story that’s been retold many times, with various perspectives. It’s hard to believe there could be a new angle on which to focus. But the film “Jackie” does just that as it explores what happened in the days following the tragic event and how the First Lady managed to cope and cement her husband’s legacy.
Plot: Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) is grieving the death of her husband and contemplating the legacy of JFK (Caspar Phillipson), as she recounts her life in the White House to a journalist (Billy Crudup). It is an intimate side of the First Lady that was so heavily guarded in life, but is now told in this biopic.
Engagement: Portman superbly channels the famous First Lady in “Jackie.” She brings an innate sense of poise and grace to the role, reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy. The type of strength one would imagine it would take in such a situation is charismatically conveyed through Portman’s riveting portrayal. The film was further elevated through strong cinematography that gave us beautiful historical snapshots. The transition from black and white to color was a nod to the era when TV was in its infancy, and served as a great way to take the viewer back in time. The scenes with Jackie alone in the White House, while trying to cope with what happened, are some of the most powerful.
Style: The set design and costuming in “Jackie” is magnificent and almost serves as another character in telling the story. In an exclusive interview, costume designer Madeline Fontaine explains how the costumes “help transport you to that era and time.” It is a significant role in the film as it was in real life– Jackie was known as much for her style and elegance as her role as First Lady.
Image source: Fox Searchlight