The first thing my friend said on leaving the screening of Jackie was, ‘I always knew Natalie Portman was fit, but not that fit.’ And, it’s true; the first thing that’ll strike you when you go to see Jackie (and you should) is the star’s beauty. It’s breath-taking. And director Pablo Larrain doesn’t give her any room to hide with his probing close-ups of her face, the camera seemingly millimetres away. Not that she looks all that much like former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, if we’re honest; you never quite forget that you’re watching Natalie Portman in action - but that's no bad thing.
So there’s her face, and then there are the costumes. Madeleine Fontaine, who’s worked on the likes of Amelie, Yves Saint Laurent and Versailles has dressed the actress in perfect copies of the trademark Oleg Cassini suits Jackie O was famous for. A stand-out scene when grief-stricken Jackie gets drunk alone in the White House and goes from room to room trying on gowns and dresses, elbow-length gloves and delicate heels, playing JFK’s favourite song, downing vodka, popping pills and crying. It’s a powerful moment and, given that much of the film sees Natalie wearing black mourning attire or the pink suit the First Lady was wearing when her husband JFK was shot, it’s a perfect montage and tribute to Jackie O fashion.
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Not only does Natalie look the part, her performance is flawless, too. From her accent to the way in which she conveys the complexity of Jackie’s character, the actress is in Best Actress Oscar-nomination territory with this part. Set in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of JFK, the biopic is raw, intimate and visually stunning. Tip: look out for the little boy who plays Jackie’s son, John Jr. So cute.
Watch the official trailer below.