Devotees of former first lady Jackie Kennedy might finally have the on-screen version of their fashionable gal-crush they’ve been waiting for in Natalie Portman, who’s been drawing raves (and even early Oscar buzz) for her depiction of Kennedy in the new film “Jackie.”
Previous portrayals have been panned. Katie Holmes was widely panned for her turn in the famous pink boucle suit in the 2011 miniseries “The Kennedys.” The Hollywood Reporter’s take: Every time the actress comes on screen, “You think, ‘That’s Katie Holmes.’ Or, ‘That’s Katie Holmes having the damndest time with Jackie’s accent.’ ”
Others have fallen flat more for the material than the casting. ”Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith was praised for nailing the iconic former first lady in the 1981 ABC TV movie “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy,” although the script itself was pronounced “dull.” Still other big-screen depictions are fleeting — Minka Kelly of “Friday Night Lights” had only a few lines as Kennedy in “The Butler.”
But Portman’s Jackie is another beast. “Natalie Portman is considered a lock for a best actress Oscar nomination for what many are describing as her best performance to date,” Variety reports. The movie won’t hit theaters until December, although its debut at the Venice and Toronto film festivals generated the awards talk.
One key to her success: She gets that famously difficult Jackie voice right. “Portman thoroughly nails Kennedy’s breathy and docile-sounding voice, without letting the affectations get the better of her,” says a Guardian review.