“Jackie” may sound like some kind of Oscar-baiting drama on paper (an award-winning actress playing a historical figure in a critical period of her life), but we’ve come to expect the unexpected when it comes to the films of Pablo Larraín. In daring historical dramas like “No,” “The Club” and this year’s Chilean Oscar contender “Neruda,” Larraín has flipped the script on well-publicized events to present ambitiously structured investigations into critical moments of a nation’s history. His first English-langue feature looks to do the same with one of America’s most beloved icons: Jackie Kennedy.
Starring Natalie Portman in the title role, which by default is bound to bring loads of Oscar buzz, “Jackie” centers on the days following President Kennedy’s assassination. The narrative is framed around Jackie’s interview with LIFE magazine’s Theodore H. White, which was conducted just a week after her husband’s murder. Still in mourning but with no choice but to face the country, Jackie relives pivotal moments from the chaos that followed the fateful day. Clearly Larraín is playing with the flashback and duel-narrative structure he experimented with in “No” and “Neruda.”
“Jackie” world premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will next screen at TIFF. Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig and John Hurt co-star. The film currently does not have a U.S. distributor. Watch the first official clip from the movie below, which hit The Film Stage earlier today.