Jackie, a biopic about the iconic former first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and her experiences immediately following the assassination of her equally-famous husband, was in development for several years before finally getting off the ground. Back in 2010, the movie was set to star Rachel Weisz as its namesake, with Darren Aronofsky directing from a screenplay by then-newbie screenwriter Noah Oppenheim; now better known for scripting The Maze Runner film and co-writing fellow young adult sci-fi novel adaptation, The Divergent Series: Allegiant. Aronofsky wound up only producing and not directing Jackie, with his Oscar-winning Black Swan star Natalie Portman stepping into the title role instead of (fellow Oscar-winner) Weisz.
Pablo Larraín (No, The Club) called the shots on Jackie instead of Aronofsky - and so far it appears things may have worked out for the best, with both Portman and the film itself earning their fair share of accolades over the course of its tour on the film festival circuit (more on that later). Fox Searchlight recently scheduled an awards season-qualifying December theatrical release date for Jackie too; and now, there's a teaser trailer and poster for the film to go with it.
You can watch the Jackie teaser trailer above; then, read the film's official synopsis and check out its poster, below:
JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of "Camelot" that they created and loved so well.
Jackie's teaser trailer, which is oriented more around visually-poetic imagery than clips that spell out the story in a straight-forward manner, seems to be reflective of the film itself, based on the early reactions from its screenings at such events as the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals over the past month. For example, THR's David Rooney praises the film (which marks Larraín's English-language directorial debut), describing it "a fragmented mosaic that comes together into a portrait of sometimes almost unbearable emotional intensity." Similarly, Variety's Guy Lodge applauds the movie for not having a conventional biopic narrative structure; saying the film is all the more emotionally impactful because it instead unfolds as "non-sequential shards of memory, jaggedly disarranged in the manner of post-traumatic consciousness."
All things considered, it sounds as though Jackie will be one for film buffs to keep an eye out for, regardless of how much (or little) traction it ultimately gains during this year's awards season race. As often and memorably as the JFK assassination has been explored in pop culture over the years ( be it with Oliver Stone's JFK or during Mad Men's third season), it sounds as though Jackie offers a fresh take on this pivotal event in 20th century U.S. history - examining its aftermath from not only Jackie's perspective, but through her psychological response too.
Jackie begins a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 2nd, 2016.
Source: Fox Searchlight