Tuesday, 24 January 2017


The graceful, affected sublimation of vanity into beauty in Jackie Kennedy, as woman and as character. Noah Oppenheim's script never catches ahold of this intangible figure who was yet so eager to be seen, her audience so eager to know her in return; it never attempts to, and arguably does not even need to, since none of Jackie's other key contributors harbour contradictory intentions. The deeper this film peers beneath her impeccably coiffured bob and into her mind, the harder it finds the task of placing precisely what this woman required, desired, deserved from a life that was one part forced upon her, one part wished upon herself. Her emotions mollified by the men that surround her, and this film itself shaped largely by a male crew, the undercurrent of a feminine outlook on life and on art alike quietly courses through Jackie, the weight of its import shouldered primarily by Natalie Portman. The strain shows, in a captivating portrait as much of actor as of character whose carefully calibrated intricacies will remain studiable from one repeat viewing to the next - Portman is peculiarly magnificent, as estimable and as reproachable as Kennedy is here depicted. Pablo Larrain's particular inscrutability as a filmmaker is equally apt and infuriating an approach, and it magnifies the successes and failings of the film as much as it creates them - each one indubitably designed as such, and thus Jackie possesses as great a potential to impress as to repel its audience. It's an appropriate quality for a biopic of a woman inclined to extract a similar response.

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