Director: Pablo Larraine
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, John Hurt, Bill Crudip
Country of Origin: Chile-France-USA 2016 99 mins. (15)
Released by e One
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman), America's First Lady, trend setter, fashion icon, a mother, her pink Chanel suit spattered with blood as she cradles her husband's lifeless body in the back of the limousine. Dallas, 22nd November 1963, the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), the 35th American President.
Chilean director Pablo Larraine's (No, The Club, Neruda) first English language feature places Jacqueline Kennedy centre stage in the days immediately following JFK's assassination as she struggles to maintain his legacy and the world of 'Camelot.'
Told through 'The Journalist' (Billy Crudup) -Life Magazine journalist Theodore H. White, who was summoned to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port,Massachusetts grief stricken, traumatised Jacqueline Kennedy bares her soul. Theodore White may have a scoop but she retains editorial control. That's the deal. Her world has gone. Lyndon B. Johnson (John Carroll Lynch) is sworn in as President on Air Force One, Ladybird Johnson (Beth Grant), is 'Mrs President' and Jacqueline Kennedy will battle with Jack Valenti (Max Casella), LBJ's special assistant over the funeral possession but she won't be sidelined and will walk by the coffin to St. Matthew's Cathedral. The endless corridoors and rooms of the White House offer nothing and the flashback to the White House TV tour that Jacqueline Kennedy fronted two years before the assassination, a reminder of the past. Comfort comes from from her brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard), her confident and friend, Nancy Tuckerman (superb Greta Gerewig) and her Irish priest (John Hurt). Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, her husband assassinated, her status gone, will remain in control, protect her children and her place in history. Life magazine has the exclusive, the front cover an image never forgotten and a legacy remains.
D.Noah Oppenheim's stunning script, Mica Levi's pitch perfect score, superb performances throughout and a camera that relentlessly pursues Natalie Portman who gives a mesmerising performance makes for fascinating cinema.
A should see, must see.