Jackie Kennedy is arguably the most famous and iconic First Lady in American history. This biopic attempts to show us the woman she was not by charting her life, but by showing us how she attempted to preserve her husbands legacy in the days following his assassination.
The film starts with a journalist (Billy Crudup) arriving at the Kennedy estate and Jackie (Natalie Portman) advising him that she will have full editorial control over what he writes, just in case what she says isn’t what she means. What follows is a series of jumps back and forth between moments in time leading up to and following the assassination of JFK.
Jackie is a mesmeric film. Time is non-linear. Everything is funnelled through Jackie’s perspective and this is a woman who is both spiralling out of control at the loss of her husband and filled with steely determination at providing a memorable funeral for the President and thus lodging him in history forever.
Natalie Portman who is in nearly every shot is exceptional. Able to show Kennedy in both public and private personas across an extreme emotional spectrum. The film would fall apart without her and it is spectacular with her.