TIFF 2016 Review: Jackie
Jackie is a biopic about Jackie Kennedy and her time immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Jackie is played by the lovely Natalie Portman and is being interviewed by a journalist played by Billy Crudup. Peter Sarsgaard plays Robert Kennedy and John Hurt stars as the priest. The film tells the story of Jackie Kennedy and how she dealt with the days following her husband’s death. At such a young age, she was faced with terrible events and difficult decisions, all while the world watched and waited. The film is directed by Pablo Larrain, director of No and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
The film itself is beautifully done. The film is interesting, and the cinematography is engaging. The filmmaker did a fantastic job of blending the old archive footage of Jackie Kennedy with the footage shot with Natalie Portman. It was done with such precision and care to detail, that it is indeed hard to distinguish one from the other. It also added a reminder every so often that this is not just a story, but rather a horrible event that happened to a person.
The performance by Natalie Portman places her at the top of the running for the Best Actress Academy Award. Her performance just oozes with emotion and perfection. She is hauntingly beautiful and iconic. There is a scene in particular where she is cleaning the blood off of her face and crying in the mirror, and it was so powerful. Her emotions were spot on and could be felt throughout the theater. The performance was truly inspired. Alongside Natalie for a great part of the film was Billy Crudup and Peter Sarsgaard. Both performances were great, but nothing outshone Natalie as Jackie.
The writing in the film is excellent. You could take any 30 seconds of the film, and it would be full of great dialogue and memorable monologues. While the writing is superb, it does feel slightly like one of those Oscar-bait films. It just seems to be perfect in every way and was geared towards Oscar season. Nonetheless, the film deserves all the praise it is getting, especially that for the performance of Natalie Portman as Jackie. She truly gives the performance of a lifetime.