Were it not for the giant blood stain on the lower-half of her fabled pink dress – a moment director Pablo Larraín takes his sweet time revealing in a startling pullback – and constant juxtaposition next to her husband’s casket, Jackie Kennedy could have just as easily been mistaken for a stewardess aboard Air Force One. Imagine a documentary portrait of a passive character set during the four most intensely intolerable days of her life and you’ll get an idea of the kind of emotional (and cinematic) wallop Jackie packs. Larraín places his subject center frame – she’s present in just about every shot in the film – while his star, Natalie Portman, takes us through a cauterized grieving process that at times borders on the surreal. Together they trap the character on film, like a rose frozen in a block of ice. Quite unlike any biopic that’s come before, but that’s no big shock given the director’s proven track record of originality. (2016) — Scott Marks
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