Rated 3.0

Natalie Portman stars as Jacqueline Kennedy in this contemplative but shallow biopic from Chilean director Pablo Larraín. The film largely takes place in the immediate aftermath of the 1963 Kennedy assassination, as Jackie deals with the trauma of her husband’s death and struggles with how to properly honor his legacy, even as she’s getting edged out of her home by the new administration. As with the other Larraín-directed biopic released this year (the Chilean Oscar submission Neruda), Jackie has a dreamy tone and flowing structure that both get undermined by a groaner narrative framing device. All the perfectly manicured technical elements assembled by Larraín—Stéphane Fontaine’s lyrical cinematography, Jean Rabasse’s flawless production design, Mica Levi’s haunting score, even Portman’s heavily mannered performance—are the reasons to watch Jackie, even as they overwhelm a slight and not particularly revealing story of strength and grace under the world’s microscope. D.B.