With its acquisition of Pablo Larrain‘s Jackie and its intention to open it on 12.9.16, Fox Searchlight has revitalized its award-season game while filling the hole left by Nate Parker‘s all-but-discounted The Birth of a Nation, which FS had been presuming all year long would be its prime Oscar pony. The intimate, impressionistic Jackie may or may not acquire enough support to snag a Best Picture nomination but Natalie Portman will almost certainly snag a Best Actress nomination. (La La Land‘s Emma Stone, Loving‘s Ruth Negga and FencesViola Davis are seen as the other three hotties in this category.) Variety has reported that some distributors who caught Jackie the night before last were “worried that Larrain’s art-house touches may not connect with enough ticket buyers to offset the high asking price,” which will translate in award-season terms to problems with the Academy schlubby-dubbies. Jackie is nonetheless the only filmed Kennedy saga in history that qualifies as audaciously artful, and as such is an effort that will win respect and kudos left and right.