Jackie Movie Review
Your husband has been shot in the head. His brains splattered on your jacket, on your face. You try to hold his head together as you race toward the hospital, perhaps knowing there is no chance to save him. And as a public figure, you must put on a face. Of defiance. Determination. Resilience. That’s the set up for Jackie, which looks at the days following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Natalie Portman delivers a powerful, award-worthy performance as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It’s her best performance since Black Swan and easily one of the most memorable of the year. She completely owns the movie, carrying the weight of its success (or failure) on her shoulders.
And yet she doesn’t do it alone. Director Pablo Larraín has taken what could have been a very simple, personal film and turned it into one of the most powerful engrossing movies of the year. Working with an intense, simmering score by Mica Levi, Jackie is an intoxicating drama that pulses with emotion.
At 99 minutes, Jackie is brisk and precise, with not a second wasted. Where many dramas benefit from an organic approach to character development and story, Larraín takes a different tact: every moment, every look, every word is exacting and purposeful. The result is a drama that looks and feels more like a thriller, one that sizzles with intensity rarely seen in movies like this.
Sharp direction, a powerful score and an award-worthy performance by Natalie Portman make Jackie one of the year’s best and most rewarding movies.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.