"It wasn't for Jack or his legacy," murmurs Jacqueline Kennedy in this drama about her planning of the president's state funeral in 1963. "It was for me." Well, I'm glad we got that out in the open. Screenwriter Noah Oppenheim follows the stunned Jackie around the White House in the weekend after the assassination as the new president's men, fearing more violence, pressure her to cancel a planned funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue. Flashbacks show her and the president arriving in Dallas for the fateful parade, and the whole shebang is framed by a sequence set a few days later in which she pops off to journalist Theodore White. As the title character, Natalie Portman is flawless as a string of pearls, and Peter Sarsgaard lends valuable support underplaying Robert Kennedy, but the ghoulishness of reenacting the assassination for the millionth time overwhelms the film's pretended merits. Chilean director Pablo Larraín, making his U.S. debut, brings a spectral, somnambulant tone to the story that often reminded me of his serial killer drama Tony Manero (2008). With Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, and Richard E. Grant.
Director: Pablo Larraín
Producer: Juan de Dios Larraín, Darren Aronofsky and Mickey Liddell
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Beth Grant, Max Casella, Caspar Phillipson, Richard Grant and John Lynch