Natalie Portman Dazzles In ‘Jackie,’ Yet Fails In Directorial Debut

Natalie Portman is an actress who refuses to be stereotyped. And yet again, she has proven that she has the talent to play unconventional roles by featuring in the title role in Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s new movie that highlights the struggles that Jacqueline Kennedy faced after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963.

In general, the world thinks of Jackie Kennedy as a fashion icon and one of the most beautiful women of her time, who decided to move on after her husband was assassinated. However, Jackie reveals the tragic side of the former First Lady who was shaken up by the real-life nightmare in which her husband collapsed in her lap after being shot in the head.

As Jacqueline Kennedy, Natalie Portman has exposed to audiences the various facets of the iconic personality. Additionally, the multifaceted actress has successfully been able to portray the grief, loneliness, and several other emotions that the First Lady went through during the traumatic time.

By all accounts, Natalie Portman has flawlessly depicted the aggrieved First Lady who was battling her mental anguish with sleeping pills. The No Strings Attached actress has also added some much-needed intensity to the drama on several occasions when she frustratingly lashes out at other characters who continue to remain political in times of calamity.

Natalie Portman’s performance in Jackie was well received when the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival. According to The Daily Beast, the No Strings Attached actress has played her latest role with graceful agony, and her work in Jackie is reminiscent of her earlier role in Black Swan, the 2010 psychological thriller in which she played a tortured ballet dancer who suffered from a psychiatric disorder.

It seems that Natalie Portman was specifically chosen to play the lead role in Jackie due to her impeccable ability to portray tormented characters who struggle to break free from the emotional turmoil.

Even though she has played a multitude of characters since her show business debut in 1993, Natalie Portman is perhaps most famous for her role as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars trilogy. Surprisingly, Natalie Portman says that she despises her role in the Star Wars franchise, even though she admitted to being so fond of it during the making of the movies.

As it turns out, she blames her stint in Star Wars for almost halting her career as she feels that, for a period, she was typecast due to the role. The actress is reluctant to allow her children to watch the particular Star Wars movie in which she dies a painful death after giving birth to her twins, Leia and Luke. According to CNET, Natalie Portman feels that it will be too disturbing for her children to see their mother die on-screen.

Thankfully, the actress’s other film projects like Cold Mountain and V for Vendetta helped her to establish herself as a talented actress by beating the stereotypes. Additionally, her sultry role as a stripper in Closer helped to reorient Natalie Portman in the minds of movie-goers who still thought of her as Padmé Amidala. According to The Blemish, her sensual scenes in movies like Closer and Black Swan remind audiences that Natalie Portman is willing to challenge herself by exploring different facets of her talent.

Indeed, Natalie Portman’s ability to be versatile has earned her the distinction of being Christian Dior’s brand ambassador for the company’s Miss Dior female perfume.

As a talented actress, expectations ran high when Natalie Portman embarked on the journey to direct A Tale of Love and Darkness, the 2015 Israeli film based on Amos Oz’s novel that serves to gives rise to hope amidst the conflict prevalent in the Middle East. According to the Columbian, Natalie Portman’s direction coupled with the overwrought script failed to draw out the emotions from the actors, leading to audiences failing to connect with the film.

Natalie Portman was criticized for directing a “gloomy” film which had the scope to be as humorous as Amos Oz’s original novel.

[Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]

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