Natalie Portman's 'Jackie' Trailer Delivers The Jackie Kennedy Story I've Been Waiting For — VIDEO
There are a lot of movies out there that claim to give us a fully fleshed-out look at some of the most iconic women from history, but unfortunately, many fall short of the kind of comprehensive portrayal that I go in hoping for. Right off the top of my head, I'm thinking about movies like Diana and The Iron Lady, whose hearts seemed to be in the right place, but didn't quite get there. However, now that I've seen the first trailer for Jackie , starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, all I feel is relieved. Obviously, I won't know until the full movie comes out in theaters on Dec. 2, but I feel strongly that this, finally, is the portrayal of Jackie Kennedy that I've been waiting for.
Obviously, Portman is a talented actress, so that aspect of the role is taken care of. But I couldn't help but notice that the film — or at least the trailer — was also carefully shot to keep the focus on her at all times. I could imagine there being a temptation in a film like this to slip into portraying not Jackie Kennedy herself, but her relationship with President Kennedy. Thankfully, that pitfall has been neatly avoided; as audience members, you barely even see John Kennedy's face.
Our entire understanding of the devastation of his loss comes not from getting to know that character and having him ripped away, but from Portman herself. Even just in the trailer, there are these long closeups of her face and manipulations of silence that give a depth and complexity to this real-life character that I've hungered for without even realizing it. It hit me so hard that I cried multiple times during the trailer, and I'm betting you will too. Take a look at this magic.
Coming up on the 53rd anniversary of JFK's assassination, we've learned much about his character and the ways he behaved in his personal life that only a select few knew about at the time. Jackie Kennedy was of course one of those people, and, if you've ever wondered what it must have felt like to guard those painful secrets and then lose the complicated man whose status necessitated their protection, I suspect that's the sensation that Jackie wants to leave us with.
Beyond the voice and the posture and the movements of her subject, all of which she seems to have nailed, Portman is finally taking on the complexity of this woman whom many people sadly know best only as the wife of a president. This woman who could wear the hell out of a pillbox hat, and had so much more depth to her than just who she was married to. This trailer highlights all of that perfectly in a way that I find truly compelling and inspiring. If Portman doesn't win an Oscar for this, I might throw a fit — that's how strongly I feel after just this one trailer.
Image: Fox Searchlight