(K. Brent Tomer),
GOOGLE pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy and a set of rather impersonal, gnomic categories appears to help sort through the millions of photographs: “family”, “pink suit”, “fashion”, “wedding”, “funeral”. Her natural glamour and ruthless defence of her privacy meant that she was almost entirely consumed by the public in the form of myth and visual icon. And the more they consumed, the more ossified she became in her pop-cultural carapace. She must have made a daunting subject, then, for Pablo Larraín, the Chilean director of the new biopic “Jackie”.
Rather than opting for a traditional, glossy take on the wife of the 35th president of America, Mr Larraín opts instead for something more challenging. The result is excellent. Natalie Portman, although little resembling Kennedy, turns in a career-defining performance, perfectly inhabiting that distinctive husky patrician voice and the stiff, small-stepped walk. Ms Portman’s addition to what is already familiar—the ready smile and flirtatious charm—is a streak of steel, will and intense vulnerability.
The film is framed around an…Continue reading