Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) struggles to deal with the grief and trauma of her husband’s assassination while fighting to have a funeral that will establish his legacy.
Jackie is a figure of elegance and class, and to me she’s always been kind of fascinating, though right now I don’t know that much about her. In this film, she’s a wife and mother whose husband was just shot in the head right next to her. She’s a woman hardened a bit by being in this public eye and being a political wife, but also a woman grieving. She’s both strong and vulnerable, and I really liked how much Portman internalised her. In this film, subtle shifts in tone and expression say as much as her words and her silences.
I loved the ’60s period costumes and sets in this film, as well as the lifestyle of Jackie and her reliance on the people around her. It’s wonderful to see the inside of the White House, as well as the other locations and sets. It feels a bit lavish on the whole, and I found it to interesting to see how she lived, as well as how she coped with the events and people around her. Her clothes, of course, were remarkable, and Portman is beautiful in this film (as always).
I suppose at heart, though this film is about the assassination and her life as a politician and presidents wife, it’s also about a woman who doesn’t have a lot of control over the larger events in her life, but she fights all the same. Though publicly she’s very poised, she also has to tell her children that their father isn’t coming home and live with her empty, though beautiful, home. She’s living through and coping with events that are heartbreaking, but she also has to live through them publicly.
It’s a wonderful film, never dull, often very beautiful, and quite tragic. The supporting cast in this film are also all really solid, and give excellent performances.
If you love Natalie Portman, she’s wonderful here. It should also please history fans, or any of you who are fascinated by that most fashionable First Lady, Jackie Kennedy.