Fresh from debuting the critically acclaimed A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman is set to premiere another film in which she plays another woman of historical note in Jackie. For this film, Portman takes on the role of Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of the late president, John F. Kennedy, which Natalie describes as a complex and “daunting” undertaking. Certainly, taking on the role of someone who has so recently been a major figure in America’s history and recreating her for the big screen can be no easy task, but, as the first Jackie trailer indicates, no one is better suited to the challenge than Natalie Portman.
This Jackie Trailer Delivers A Poignant Portrait With Few Words
While there are many periods in Jacqueline Kennedy’s life worth examining, Rolling Stone reveals that Jackie focuses on the time surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, because that was a time Jackie Kennedy exhibited the most strength and personal endurance. As seen in this brief Jackie teaser, Portman’s dramatization of the former First Lady reminds us why, at a time of national crisis, Jacqueline Kennedy earned the respect and the admiration of the American public. Ms. Portman deftly portrays her ability to endure a devastating tragedy and still rise above it to accomplish the greatest of feats.
The teaser for Jackie shows Portman playing Ms. Kennedy in some of the most iconic scenes ever to have been captured on film or video, as well as personal, private moments only now revealed in the Jackie biopic. Together, the blending of those moments promises to give audiences an emotional trip back to the past, where they can experience a truly magical period in American history. Or, as Natalie suggests in the Jackie trailer’s narration, a trip back to Camelot.
“People like to believe in fairy tales. Don’t let it be forgot that for one brief, shining moment, there was Camelot.”
Jackie Star Natalie Portman On Becoming Jacqueline Kennedy
As early as the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Natalie Portman opened up to The Wrap about the challenge of playing Ms. Kennedy in Jackie. The actress, most recently recognized for playing Fania Oz in A Tale of Love and Darkness, says coming to Jackie in the starring role was especially difficult, because there are still those who have the real Jacqueline Kennedy fresh in their minds. For that reason, Ms. Portman felt that there was little room for improvisation, as Jackie audiences would have a sharp eye for incongruities.
“It was very daunting,” Ms. Portman says in describing her experience playing Jackie Kennedy. “I had never played a role before that was someone that people really knew, how they looked and talked and moved so specifically. So of course, it put the pressure on to be quite specific with portraying her and studying her, of course.”
While Natalie may have felt pressured to play Jackie a certain way, she says the film’s director, Pablo Larraín (No, The Club), helped her to relax a little. Ms. Portman credits the Jackie director for giving the freedom to use her imagination in bringing Jackie Kennedy to life on the big screen.
Jackie has already debuted to select audiences, having been shown to attendees of the Venice Film Festival, where it received positive reviews. Critics hailed Jackie as a success for Natalie Portman in her portrayal of the former First Lady, as well as the director’s perspective in displaying the way Ms. Kennedy built up the Camelot mythology around John F. Kennedy’s presidency, before and after his death.
Jackie, starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, and Greta Gerwig, opens in theaters on December 2.
[Featured Image by Fox Searchlight Pictures]