Today Vanity Fair posted a first-look shot of Natalie Portman as the nation’s First Lady of a half-century ago (1.20.61 to 11.22.63) in Pablo Larrain‘s Jackie, which has been shooting for…what, the last two or three weeks? And then next year or the year after Portman will portray Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg under director Marielle Heller, or so it was reported last June.
Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy in Pablo Larrain’s Jackie.
Five years ago Jackie was going to be directed by Darren Aronofsky with his then-wife Rachel Weisz in the lead role, but then they broke up. Aronofsky is producing the Portman-Larrain with his Protozoa Pictures partner Scott Franklin along with Chile’s Juan de Dios Larrain. Fox Searchlight will probably distribute and Portman will be campaigned as a Best Actress contender — all pretty much set in stone.
I’ve posted my 2010 reactions to Noel Oppenheim‘s script once or twice before so why not a third time?
“Jackie follows the former Mrs. Kennedy’s experience from the day of JFK’s assassination in Dallas on 11.22.63 to his burial in Arlington Cemetery three days hence. I’ve read enough about those four dark days to understand that Oppenheim’s script is basically a tasteful re-capturing of what happened, and that’s all. It’s an elegant, almost under-written thing — straight, clean, dignified. The dialogue seems genuine — trustable — in that it’s not hard to believe that Jackie or Bobby Kennedy or Larry O’Brien or Theodore H. White or Jack Valenti might have said these lines in actuality.
“The portrait that emerges isn’t what anyone would call judgmental or intrusive, or even exploratory. Jackie Kennedy is depicted as pretty much the same, reserved, quietly classy woman of legend, determined to honor her husband’s memory by making decisions about aspects of his state funeral in her own way, according to what she feels he would have wanted, or what would be appropriately dignified.
“I don’t mean to sound like a smart-ass, but it’s more or less in the same wheelhouse as Roger Donaldson‘s Thirteen Days, the drama about the Cuban Missile Crisis. I had a feeling that while writing this Oppenheim was mindful of the screenplay style of Aaron Sorkin, and how the latter has almost authored a ‘how to’ manual about writing emotionally reserved but affecting stories about people who live and work in the White House. The difference is that this time they’re well-known figures and the dialogue is based on historical accounts.
“Jackie fits the template of a ‘let’s re-tell history again’ type of thing — familiar history re-lived and re-told with a veneer of class.”