“There won’t be another Camelot.”
Starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and Greta Gerwig.
An interview with Life Magazine, taking place 7 days after the assassination of her husband and President of the United States, gave the public the insight into what had happened and how Mrs Kennedy dealt with the tragic ordeal whilst also keeping her head above the water. A career-confirming performance from Natalie Portman (BLACK SWAN (2010) and V FOR VENDETTA (2006)) who channelled every essence of the celebrity and harrowed life of America’s First Lady. A worthy nominee for the Actress in a Leading Role, Costume Design and Music (Original Score) at the 89th Academy Awards later this week.
The outstanding feature of this film is Portman’s detailed interpretation of Jackie Kennedy. The mannerisms and her accent could fool some of the most keenest eyes and for that fact her Oscar nomination is justified and encouraged. The events which took place immediately after the assassination are troublesome and upsetting with Portman evoking persuasive emotion leaving a definite impact on the already silent audience. It cannot be understated just how impressive Portman’s performance is, and compared with the likes of Emma Stone (BIRDMAN (2014)) in LA LA LAND and to Isabelle Huppert (VALLEY OF LOVE (2016)) in ELLE the decision for the Academy on February 26th is not going to be an easy one.
In addition to the performances the costume and set designs for this film are equally triumphant. On several occasions the interior of The White House is shown to the audience through the 1962 televised tour of the house lead by Mrs Kennedy. The level of detail of these scenes alone are precise down to the cushions on chairs and ornaments on the walls. The design elements of the film are combined with the array of coloured outfits for Portman to wear throughout the film lending to a thoroughly thought out masterpiece comparable to only the best of detailed cinema. Most significantly may be the rose pink jacket she wore when her husband was killed which splattered with blood and became a symbolism for strength and perseverance.
The score for JACKIE is harrowing in every note. Composed by Mica Levi, it merges the perfect amount of sombre flat notes with angelic synthesised chords to create a truly unique collection of music. Similar to the impressive score Levi produced for UNDER THE SKIN (2013), it functions expertly with the themes of the film and confirms the great talent of this composer.
JACKIE should definitely not be missed during this awards season. A collective of tantalising performances, inquisitive set and costume design and a truly spine-chilling musical score; which also features one of JOHN HURT’s (THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980) and THE SKELETON KEY (2005)) final appearances in film. Pablo Larrain delivers yet again another impressive film to cinema audiences. One can only eagerly await his next feature in the, hopefully, near future.
Written by John Cheshire