By Sarah Mason
Sarah Mason is a producer and writer for The HMC Network and 1/2 of the weekly podcast, The Harold & Maudecast covering genre entertainment, movies/tv, comic cons & events. www.thehmcnetwork.com
JACKIE is an immersive and intimate portrait of the immediate aftermath following the assassination of JFK as seen through the eyes of First Lady, Jackie Kennedy. The film stars NATALIE PORTMAN in the title role, PETER SARSGAARD as Bobby Kennedy, GRETA GERWIG as Nancy Tuckerman who was the Social Security to the Kennedy White House, Billy Crudup as The Journalist and John Hurt as The Priest. The film is Directed by Pablo LARRAÍN, Written by Noah Oppenheim and Produced by Juan de Dios LARRAÍN, Darren ARONOFSKY, Mickey LIDDELL, Scott FRANKLIN, Ari HANDEL. Distributed by Fox Searchlight.
The story narrative is facilitated by The Journalist, played by Billy Crudup who visits Mrs. Kennedy within a week of her husband’s death and funeral. Through this meeting she unveils her deepest emotions about his death, their marriage and what some deemed as the spectacle of his funeral. None which she allows the Journalist to print, however it breaths new insight into the mindset of Jackie and how she truly was the Designer of Camelot.
Every often prosaic detail of the business of burying a President is explored and examined. It is through these pedestrian tasks and rituals that we gain unprecedented and immeasurable access to Jackie’s emotions and character. The film is so immersive at times one feels they are not only in the room with her, but you are literally inside her mind.
The punctuation for the film is provided by a jeering and haunting score composed by Mica Levi. The film in fact opens with the almost incongruent sounds of the strings. It instantly creates an atmosphere, one you were not expecting-- it feels Kubrick-esque, the screen is black and for a moment you’ve forgotten what film you’re about to see. Enter Jackie walking, Portman’s, who gives a mind-blowing performance, walks on online, silent yet you know by her face and walk, the deed as already been done.
The costume design by Madeline FONTAINE (Amelie) plays a crucial role in the storytelling. Fontaine manages to mirror the iconic fashions, now synonymous with Jackie, yet creating what appears to be a brand new collection, that we the viewer are seeing for the first time. It’s remarkable.
Every facet of this film is as impeccable as Jackie herself. The moody yet sometimes colorful production design by Jean RABASSE, Sebastián SEPULVEDA’s editing which often steals the scenes, the robust performances by the entire cast and Pablo LARRAÍN’s aggressive yet graceful direction -- perfectly mirroring the paradox of Jackie herself. This film is near flawlesss.