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on Mar 1, 2017

The camera pushes tight in on Natalie Portman’s distressed face, a layer of 16mm grain putting a slight filter on her perfect features. From the very beginning, we’re too close; the customary distance from an iconic first lady is gone. Also missing are biographical flashbacks, or early happy moments, or pretty montages locating Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy within the tapestry of her husband’s life and administration. No, Pablo Larraín’s Jackie, which follows the first lady in the days following John F. Kennedy’s assassination, begins in a kind of emotional media res, a heightened state accentuated by the dark chords of Mica Levi’s string score. From minute one, what, on paper, might seem to be the ultimate fall prestige movie play — a stately biopic about a fashionable subject set in a far-enough-way time and starring a beautiful Oscar winner — announces itself as something entirely different indeed. (Scott Macaulay)

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