At one point in Jackie, Pablo Larraín's dazzling slipstream of a movie, the freshly widowed Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) talks about the many history books she reads, and how what's written in them becomes the accepted truth. And Jackie is also about the shaping of history, but as done by mythmaking and homemaking, by the "soft" resources traditionally made available to the first lady, who stands at the side of the world leader, and whose identity is inevitably seen as dependent on that of her husband.
Jackie — which is framed by a reporter (Billy Crudup) interviewing and dueling with the grieving titular character — is about the power in seemingly easily dismissible choices like wardrobe, decor, the timing of public appearances, and the bruising act of event planning that is a presidential funeral. It's also about how, at the dawn of the television age, image is increasingly important. Portman, who's terrific here, plays Kennedy as a woman who has an uncanny grasp of public perception — and who, the film argues, does more to cement the perception of her husband's importance in the public memory (and to create the concept of "Camelot") than any of his own actions.
When's it coming out? Dec. 9