TIFF 2016 Review: “Jackie” (2016) ★★★★


There are only a few actors whose film I watch whether it’s good or bad, and one of them is Natalie Portman. Just to think that she portrays one of the most iconic first ladies, Jacqueline Kennedy, gives such an incredible feeling, you simply know she will do a great job to bring to life the most devastating and hard moments of Jacqueline Kennedy’s life – the moment after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The Journalist (played by Billy Crudup) is at Jackie’s house who prepares to interview her. As a man asks his questions, Jackie fights through grief, trauma and seeks for an opportunity to regain her faith. She even tries to identify her role as a mother, or even as a First Lady, the title she held for two years. Through the flashbacks, impressive black-and-white shots, and mesmerizing performance of Natalie Portman will take you to an unpleasant trip to the past, not one person would ever like to experience.

Nancy Tuckerman (Greta Gerwig) tries to cheer up Jackie, while Robert Kennedy’s (played by Peter Sarsgaard) overprotectiveness annoys her, while she’s on the verge of an emotional breakdown. However, nothing helps Jackie to get back to normal life, as her grief and loss is greater than one woman could ever handle. But one thing Jackie is quite sure of is to not only define the legacy of her late husband, but to make it live forever in everyone’s memory.

Screenplay written by Noah Oppenheim and directed by master, Pablo Larrain, Jackie is beautifully shot by concentrating purely on Natalie Portman’s performance, which, frankly was important enough to deliver Jackie’s pain. Every single scene, whichever you would like to pick contains a strong performance, which I am sure, will bring many considerable recognitions to Natalie Portman, and maybe more than that.

Some long close-up scenes and adopted accent brings Natalie Portman one level up as an A-list actor, who with every film gets better and better. However, the credit should also go to Noah Oppenheim, who thoughtfully wrote the screenplay giving enough room to Natalie Portman to play with. As a filmmaker, Pablo Larrain shows that he is in a great game where only big filmmakers can deliver a detailed and nuanced film such as Jackie.

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