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Stars: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Richard E Grant, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch

Director: Pablo Larrain

An intimate portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy, as she is interviewed by a reporter (Crudup) a short while after her husband, President John F Kennedy, has been assassinated.

On the surface something of an haute couture airhead, the real, chain-smoking Jackie (Portman) is gradually revealed as a woman who was rather more than window dressing for a president whom, she realised, was 'not a perfect man', but always came back to her after his latest dalliance.

Portman tries hard to catch this woman of many contradictions, fearful at one moment, resolute the next and not reluctant to speak her mind. But we also see the 'public' Jackie, as evidenced in a cringe-making tour of the White House shown on TV.

The director has problems enlivening such a static subject - there are a lot of shots of a widowed Jackie wandering round the White House in an assortment of outfits - and briefly shows the assassination in all its horror. But Jackie's conversations with her priest (Hurt), confidante (an almost unrecognisable Gerwig) and brother-in-law Bobby (Sarsgaard, not terribly well cast) do hold the attention, often presenting unexpected facets to the one-time First Lady's personality.

A mixed bag then, and, despite the bravura lead performance, one probably more suited to a smaller screen.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: entertainmentOne. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Jan 2017