Director: Pablo Larraín.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Greta Gerwig. USA/Chile/France 2016. 100 mins.
Blessed with stunning reviews from the 2016 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, Jackie is an intimate and quietly harrowing study of the week following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as seen through the eyes of his widow.
Natalie Portman delivers a performance of poise and power as Jacqueline Kennedy, fighting to hold onto her dignity amid the horror of losing her husband and the subsequent turmoil at the White House. Seamlessly making his English-language debut, director Larraín (No) burrows deep into Jackie’s psyche, showing a woman teetering on the brink. The supporting cast is highly impressive, including Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, Greta Gerwig as loyal aide Nancy Tuckerman, and John Hurt as the priest in whom Jackie confides. But this is Portman’s film, and might deservedly win her a second Best Actress Oscar after Black Swan.
Director: Danny Boyle.
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald. UK 2016. TBC mins.
Two decades after director Danny Boyle’s groundbreaking drama set in Edinburgh’s dark, druggy underbelly, the four friends drawn from Irvine Welsh’s novel return to make amends… or seek revenge. Begbie (Carlyle) has just been released from jail, Renton (McGregor) is making an emotional homecoming, and Sick Boy (Miller) and Spud (Bremner) are awaiting them both with very mixed feelings. Based on Welsh’s follow-up novel Porno, and again scripted by John Hodge, Boyle’s film has all the grit and casual pathos of the original while acknowledging that the main characters, including Kelly Macdonald’s Diane, have grown up over the past 20 years… or have they? The opening voiceover – an acerbically hilarious update of the original film’s bleakly observed intro – is worth the ticket price alone.
When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christianas past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.