By Jay Hunter – Biopics are a genre that many see as award-bait, however there has been plenty of blunders in recent memory. Most notably, 2013’s Diana starring Naomi Watts, achieving a jaw-dropping 8% on Rotten Tomatoes. This was a worry for Jackie, that had shaky reviews as it was hopping around the festival circuit, only to come out unscathed and very much an Oscar contender at the end of it.
Jackie is a startling and profound painting of one of Americas most pivotal historic moments, seen through the eyes of Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman). The movie follows the First Lady in the immediate aftermath of her husbands assassination as she attempts to maintain her husband’s memory.
What Pablo Larraín does so effectively is construct a complex characterisation of Jackie, yet the fractured narrative takes place over the timespan of just a few days. She becomes a living embodiment of what she feels herself and the presidency should symbolise as both she and her nation grieves. Cinematography from Stéphane Fontaine (Elle, Captain Fantastic) gives the movie a stark documentarian sense of realism to the whole affair. It’s arguable as to whether or not Natalie Portman’s portrayal of the First Lady is accurate, however she gives a harrowing and circuitous performance, which is arguably the best of her career. She faces stiff competition for the Best Actress Academy Award, but she’s certainly high in the Tower of Babel.