By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Fox Searchlight; 2016]
Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, follows the events immediately after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Instead of focusing on the events on the day of the assassination, it focuses on the first lady’s experiences and decisions made after his death. She faces more than just grieving, she has to make decisions about his funeral, all while the people in the White House refuse to give her important information.
The most prominent focus of the movie is Jackie’s mental state, which is shown not only through the acting, but by the way that the scenes are pieced together and the soundtrack is used. There are moments where she is seeing a priest, or being interviewed by a journalist, or sitting at one of the foreign embassy dinners, or filming a TV special about the renovations being done to the White House. There are also sections where JFK’s assassination is reenacted, but the gunshot that kills him is left until the end.
Musically, the film is flawless. There are moments when the motif seems too dark and simple, but after hearing it a few times throughout the film, it’s easy to realize that the music is a representation of Jackie, and her mindset during grieving. By the end of the film, the music changes to become lighter, symbolizing the end of grieving and a new hope for the previous first lady’s future.
To create a true and accurate portrayal of Jackie, everything had to be perfect. She was an icon in her style and grace, and everything done in Jackie reflects that. The costuming is eloquent and reminds us of how Jackie influenced American fashion. Everything worn in the movie is an exact replica of real clothes that she wore to real events. Natalie Portman does the Jackie accent flawlessly, as she spoke with an accent that is different from any American accent that most young people had ever heard.
Overall, the film is beautifully done, and its subject matter is especially important. Anyone who loves a great biopic or a true story should see this film.