A biopic of Jackie Kennedy is a prospect rife with the danger of becoming a glib fashion-show-as-history. Director Pablo Larraín skips over these pitfalls with aplomb in this impressionistic meditation on grief that approaches its subject with immense sensitivity, but never reverence. Leaping between before and after JFK’s murder, this is as far as you can imagine from the obvious idea of how to treat history’s most swish First Lady. Brit Mica Levi’s score suggests the dark forces that lurk under the most primped pillbox hat, and Natalie Portman is astonishing as lead – giving several layers of performance at once, and somehow sounding like a Kennedy without ever doing an impression. There’s never been a look at a historical figure quite like this.
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