“Jackie” is a daring and raw biopic that is one of the year’s best films.
Biopics are tricky to write. Tell a cradle-to-grave story, and you’ve bitten off more than can be chewed in a two-hour film. Fail to fill in the blanks of your famous subject and the audience will see them as merely two-dimensional. Neither is a problem in the vivid new film “Jackie.” It’s a daring and raw portrait of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy during the weeks following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Written by Noah Oppenheim as a non-linear mood piece, directed with flair by Pablo Larrain, and acted with aching vulnerability by a never-better Natalie Portman, Jackie’s grieving process here is presented as both intensely haunting and deeply moving. This character study does more than illuminate its subject, it puts us in her shoes at every moment. Jackie’s fight to tell her story couldn’t be more timely for our nation during this difficult political transition. And it’s a must-see film for anyone interested in the advancement of cinematic storytelling.