Jackie (2016)

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Director: Pablo Larraín
Cast: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Greta Gerwig


In the aftermath of the J. F. Kennedy shooting, the former First Lady gives an interview to a reporter about how she dealt with the experience and the funeral arrangements that ensued. In the course of her recollections, we gain an insight into a multi-faceted woman, who careered from self-pity to self-aggrandisement in her conduct after the assassination. What emerges is that she felt unloved, then bereft of her status as First Lady, twice the loser in other words. The jaundiced remarks of the catholic priest (Hurt) at the funeral make for a choice conclusion to this adroitly compiled confessional.

The Review

Skilfully blending archive footage with reconstruction, the Chilean director's micro gaze at momentous American political events is poised around an objective character portrayal of the woman who no doubt provided the focus for most public sympathy. Like Bolt's Lawrence, the results are full of ambiguities, and opinion will be divided over Portman's mannered performance, but there is no denying there is intelligence at work here.