JACKIE

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A heartbroken Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) arrives in the White House after her husband’s killing

Paced, not overhyped, meaningful, overwhelming… ‘Jackie’ was arguably a risky film to make because there have been at least ten other productions dealing with the events before, and it’s the most clear example of a feature with a woman at the center. However, Portman’s Oscar-nominated performance elevates it and breathes new life not only into a woman we love to feel pity towards, but someone who was even more groundbreaking herself.

“There should be more horses, more soldiers… more crying, more cameras… I’m not the First Lady anymore. I lost Jack somewhere. What was real? What was performance?” reads one very powerful line. Set in 1963, ‘Jackie’ follows the life of one of the most iconic First Ladies after the horrendous and utterly public assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The overwhelming horror that darkened her life in a split of second, besides the world watching her every move, resulted in a painful exposure that she ironically found useful. In the movie, there is one breath-taking scene where she refuses to wash the blood away. It’s hours until she takes a shower and said blood runs from her hair down her nude back. She wanted the planet to see the magnitude of the appalling. The unfathomable impact and the noise of the breaking news. And she sure did, the event becoming perhaps the most infamous episodes in the history of American politics.

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The widowed Jackie Kennedy at his husband’s multitudinous funeral

However, the razor-sharp Jackie didn’t let it become the center of her reality. Rather, she saw an opportunity to hold the press accountable and indeed be able to shape her husband’s legacy. Nowadays, it sounds surreal to even entertain the thought that a First Lady, let alone a President (well), could personally say what they allow to make an interview. When we hear that she was an iconic First Lady, that’s the kind of material we allude to – not only was she known to have an encyclopedic memory, she had a character that only a few First Ladies have shown to have.

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As for the movie’s assets, Portman’s performance was rightfully amongst the top five: heart-wrenching, impossibly accurate appearance-wise and fair. Not to pit girls against one another, Emma Stone’s was arguably more complete because of the singing, dancing and covering of a number of emotions. But the huge responsibility of playing someone real, iconic, and nail it, is not only a victory per se but also a safe haven in most cases when it comes to nabbing the golden statuette: Margaret Thatcher, Abraham Lincoln, Ray Charles, Erin Brokovich, Katharine Hepburn, Truman Capote, Gandhi… On the plus side, Natalie will be playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg next year, so…

The soundtrack is a presence on its own, poignantly wrapping the key moments through deep and haunting pieces scored by Mica Levi before actually watching the film. The costume design is dead on, with designs not just vaguely resembling, but almost identical to the former First Lady’s.

In conclusion, Jackie turns brilliantly on its costume design, score and of course Natalie Portman’s performance, resulting in an accurate and classy biopic that is as fair to the real events as depicting of the commendable and hugely fascinating Jackie Kennedy.

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President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy share a moment before a parade

Running time: 1h 40 minutes.

Country: United States, Chile, France

Release date: December 2th, 2016

Box office: $24.8M

Grade: B

All images are taken from Google.

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