Yesterday a Crown Heights guy in his late 20s wrote me about Pablo Larrain‘s Jackie, which he’d just seen at the Alamo Drafthouse and “really liked…it’s a very skilled art film that does a good job sticking a story.” He believes that Natalie Portman is “on another level” vs. La La Land‘s Emma Stone, whose performance he respects and appreciates but doesn’t love.

“Portman’s interpretation seems absolutely spot-on,” he wrote. “She captured Jackie’s measured personality [along with] her raw human self.

“I’m just surprised Stone has the lead in the Best Actress race now,” he went on. “To me, it’s not really that close, and with the political winds and all, this film makes you feel more sadness about where we are now. Makes you mad thinking about what Melania Trump will do to the White House interior…the theme about ‘there will never be another Camelot’ resonates especially.”

Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil said the other day that Academy and guild members generally don’t vote for the best but for “the most.” In a Best Actress realm that means the saddest, the hardest struggle, the most tearful, pronounced, pulled from the heart, etc. In that sense I’d say Stone and Portman are a 50-50 tossup at this stage.

I love Tom Wolfe‘s description of Jackie Kennedy in “The Right Stuff“:

“She had a certain Southern smile, which she had perhaps picked up at Foxcroft School, in Virginia, and her quiet voice, which came through her teeth, as revealed by the smile. She barely moved her lower jaw when she talked. The words seemed to slip between her teeth like exceedingly small slippery pearls.”