|Natalie Portman as Jackie|
Jacqueline Kennedy was the most famous, admired, and influential woman in the world, and that all ended in one shocking moment in Dallas in 1963. Whatever the flaws of JFK and the First Lady, neither of them deserved such a terrible fate, and I think the president's widow never fully got over what happened that day -- the suddenness, the gruesomeness, the shock and horror of it all. Jackie presents JFK's widow in all her complexities and mixed emotions as she struggles to get by in the hours and days after her husband's assassination. Natalie Portman [Black Swan] gives an excellent performance as Jackie, and there is good work from Peter Sarsgaard [The Dying Gaul] as Bobby Kennedy, Greta Gerwig [The Humbling] as Jackie's aide, Nancy; John Hurt as a priest; and Billy Crudup as a reporter who comes to interview Jackie some time after the tragedy (the main story is told in flashback). There is first-class photography from Stephane Fontaine, and a deeply poignant score by Mica Levi (some could argue that the music does most of the work). This may not be the last word on the final days of Camelot, nor on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, but it is a moving and absorbing picture. Portman and Levi both received Oscar nominations.
Verdict: An American tragedy. ***.