Jackie – Pablo Larraín/Fox Searchlight Pictures-2016

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Jackie is a 2016 biographical tale of former first Lady Jackie Kennedy directed by Pablo Larrain, written by Noah Oppenheim and produced by Darren Aronofsky. Natalie Portman plays title role portraying the icon Jackie Kennedy as she personally grieves the assassination of her husband J.F.K. She slowly and with great difficulty attempts to overcome a loss which not only changes her life but perhaps the political history and future path of the world.

Pablo Larrain is seen as a visionary and daring as a film director. For many to try and attempt to depict any J.F.K subject matter political or personal would be a daunting task. For this project to be his first English language film would be even more intimidating. He approaches this all with ambition and gusto.

The cinematography and visual aesthetics are beautiful, cinematic and even glamorous without feeling superficially false. After all it is the tale of one of the most famous figures in American history. Equally by Larrain choosing to work with British music artist Levi (famed for Under the Skin) he veers the course of the film narrative with ease. What we perceive to be a seductive and prestigious world has major faults. We sense this through both music and visual as Jackie’s world of elite glamour begins to crumble after J.F.Ks death.

I enjoyed the sense of realism in the actual story-telling as much as these well placed signifies. The film is honest and truthful. It does not convey the marriage between John.F.Kennedy and Jackie as perfect. It showcases her happiness and at times her struggle with his adultery, fame and having to be secondary role to his success.

Another theme the film closely considers is the true price of fame.

“I have grown and become accustomed to a great divide between what people ‘believe’ and what ‘I’ know to be real”  – Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy

The film is ultimately about a woman in intense mourning for the loss of her husband, best friend and Father of her children. She has to share this grief and loss of hope with the entire world. This adds to her understandable depression. At times I thought of how difficult personally for this woman this must have been, let alone a first lady. This is a sign of great dramatic story telling by Oppenheim.

Natalie Portman is in her element throughout the film. Not only does she the natural ability as a strong actress but she is believable as Jackie Kennedy in looks. It is a strong biographical film, which feels like an Oscar contender. Where it is great at it’s true core is that it is relateable to all audiences in personal female suffering, loss and mourning.

 

Von Von Lamunu

 

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