Oscars Preview: 30 Movies to Watch Before the Nominations Come Out!

10 of 31

Image courtesy of Fox Searchlight


What it’s about:

Jackie is a biopic that follows Jacqueline Kennedy in the days surrounding her husband’s assassination. In the film, an unidentified journalist (presumably based on Theodore H. White) meets with the just-divested First Lady to talk to her about the death of President John F. Kennedy. Throughout the interview, Jackie relives the days surrounding the assassination. The framework of the movie allows for the audience to see many sides to Jackie Kennedy, from her vulnerability in the face of tragedy to her resilience in the face of the public.

Major Players:

Pablo Larraín, a Chilean filmmaker, directed Jackie. The script was written by Noah Oppenheim, who has previously only adapted YA novels for the screen. Natalie Portman, who won an Oscar for Black Swan in 2011, portrays Jackie Kennedy. Billy Crudup plays The Journalist, and the cast is rounded out by Peter Sarsgaard and Greta Gerwig.

What the Critics are Saying:

With an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, Jackie has received very favorable reviews generally. Many critics have praised the way that the film handles the extremely heavy material and doesn’t try to do too much. Manohla Dargis of the New York Times writes that instead of attempting to cover all the implications of the Kennedy assassination, Jackie “explores the intersection of the private and the public while ruminating on the transformation of the past into myth.” Some critics have found Portman’s performance affected, but others have found it profoundly moving. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post writes, “Portman’s Jackie is soft yet steely, vulnerable yet shrewd, propelled by a fierce, unyielding rage, yet superbly controlled and controlling.”

Possible Nominations:

Best Picture, Best Director (Larraín), Best Original Screenplay (Oppenheim), Leading Actress (Portman)