‘Jackie’ gives Kennedy assassination personal context

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Jackie (2016)

Directed by Pablo Larraín

In “Jackie,” the much anticipated biopic which follows Jacqueline Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) in the days following her husband’s assassination, Chilean director Pablo Larraín paints a portrait of a woman courageous in a way the history books never tell you about. It at once both tears down and reaffirms the Kennedys’ mythic status as gods among men.

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Natalie Portman captures the wispy calmness of Jackie Kennedy’s voice, the elegant purr that helped make her one of America’s most memorable socialites. Jackie’s grief in the days following JFK’s death could only be described as unorthodox. Portman lets audiences fully immerse themselves. She never lets down her guard, like some might (actor Peter Sarsgaard’s Bobby Kennedy inconsistent New England accent comes to mind). She’s a sure bet for an Oscar nomination. It doesn’t help that the costume and production design couldn’t be any better—it’s as genuine as any drama I’ve seen in a while. 16mm film and artful cinematography create a grainy image like one you’d have seen filmed in 1963. My appreciation for the detail put into “Jackie” cannot be put into words. On a technical level, “Jackie” is one of the most consistently good films to release last year. And what a year to release! With former supermodel Melania Trump in the White House, we’ll soon have a First Lady with Jackie’s sense of style and high-class taste—and perhaps with her distance from the everywoman of America.

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This haunting biopic will have you glued to the screen. We all know what happened on November 22, 1963, but few of us know what happened to Jackie in the days following. “Jackie” has the answers.

8/10

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