Movie Review: Natalie Portman Stuns In Award Worthy Performance In Jackie

SINGAPORE: It was almost too obvious, a given even, once the audience was treated to the first glimpse of Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in the trailer of Pablo Larrain’s Jackie. At that point, we had not watched the film but it seemed obvious - this was an award-worthy performance.

Portman won her Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan back in 2010, and deservingly so. But stepping into the well-heeled shoes of the legendary former First Lady, Portman’s stunning performance exceeds that award-sweeping role.

Chilean director Larrain’s unconventional yet intimate biopic Jackie, produced by Black Swan’s Darren Aronofsky and working off writer Noah Oppenheim’s screenplay, covers one of the most significant moments in American history - the assassination of President John F Kennedy and the effect it had on his traumatised widow in the face of a still-marching government and a shocked and grieving nation.

So how did they manage to breathe new life into the well-known Kennedy legend and the infinitely fascinating historical figures of Jackie and her Jack? A legend that has been rehashed in book and on screens both big and small so many times before?

By giving Portman the latitude to work her way through the different layers of this enigmatic and mysterious woman.

History made Jackie an international icon, but Portman’s willingness to go beyond the famous Chanel suits and plunder deep under her beautiful skin invites one to witness a selection of perspectives never fully explored before.

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