Monday, November 14, 2016

The "Jackie" Trailer Adds a Beautiful Sense of Woe to a Tragic Story

Natalie Portman
It seems poignant that with the 2016 American presidential election almost a week old, it's time for the Oscar race to turn to its own political royalty story. Director Pablo Larrain's Jackie has been effectively receiving praise from its various festival appearances and looks to pit Oscar-winner Natalie Portman back into the Best Actress race for her role as Jackie Onassis Kennedy. The teaser produced an electric series of images that if nothing else was beautiful to look at. In the first full trailer, we get to hear Mrs. Kennedy tell her tale of woe and add context to the imagery. The results keep it locked as one of the year's most exciting releases of the Fall season.

While I don't tend to give free press to each individual trailer for a film, I do think that there's some value in exploring Oscar-worthy cinema like Jackie. In a tense election year, it is easy to expect politics to seep into the cinema that resonates with us this Fall. Considering that there's less than two months before the year is up, the race is tightening up with almost no discernible favorites currently playing in wide release. That will change as November ends and December brings the onslaught of titles vying for major awards. Among them is likely to be Jackie, which focuses on Kennedy's life following the death of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.

It's a story not often told. In fact, very few First Ladies have even shown up in the Oscar race. The only one from recent years has been Best Supporting Actress nominee Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln (2012). Even then, she was a supporting player to Abraham Lincoln's story. Jackie at least looks to shift the tables and maybe show the grief of being one of the most publicized First Ladies of the era. With a controversial assassination weaved into the fabric, it will be interesting to see what Larrain brings to the table.

Check out the trailer below:

Looks really good. If nothing else, the visuals are still as striking. The hoarse voice that Portman brings to Mrs. Kennedy is fully of sorrow. I can only imagine what else she brings to the character to make the images pop. For now, it's continued proof that she may be gunning for her next Oscar nomination and potential win with this role. One can only imagine what competition crops up in the months ahead. For now, Jackie looks like a shining beacon of hope for cinema that will hopefully be as great as the marketing around it.

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