How hard can it be for a thespian to portray a real-life character? And not just that, but someone who was well-known and whose life was followed by the media step by step.
I say this to give even more importance to Natalie Portman’s portrayal in Jackie. But be warned if you are expecting a film, because this is not one. No, Jackie is a character study, if anything. It shows us what she was like, what was going in her head, how she reacted to the tragic events we all know.
Which is what makes Portman’s acting even more fascinating. I kid you not, even though you would never say the Oscar-winning actress looks like the former First Lady, there are moments in the film when you look at Natalie and you honestly think you are looking at Jackie Kennedy. She embodies her so well on the inside that it reflects on the outside.
And saying this, it is true that the film can be slow at times, but let me tell you this, Portman’s role pays it off. Her accent, the way she moves, her laugh, her stare… It was so haunting that you couldn’t take your eyes off her.
It is a shame that the awards season is giving all its prizes to other (equally talented) actresses, because Portman proves here why she is the best of her generation, and she truly deserves a second Oscar for her superb portrayal of a woman we knew so much about, and yet know so very little of.
PS. Also, kudos to Peter Sarsgaard for his magnificent portrayal of Bobby Kennedy, and a shout out to the casting department, because Caspar Phillipson was basically JFK’s twin brother. Oh, and the intense and sharp soundtrack. It was simple, yet effective.
PPS. I love the musical Camelot, so having this film mention it so much was a delight.