In Toronto, Natalie Portman enters Oscar race with 'Jackie'

TORONTO — Natalie Portman's Jackie is coming to a theater near you.

On Monday at Toronto International Film Festival, Fox Searchlight acquired the Pablo Larraín-directed Jackie Onassis biopic and set an awards-friendly release date of Dec. 9 (in select cities).

“I am delighted that Fox Searchlight will be releasing Jackie,” the director said in a statement. “Their movies have been an important influence on me as a filmmaker, and it is a personal achievement for me to have them bring this very special story of a beautiful, sophisticated and mysterious woman to the world. Jackie was the most unknown of the known women of the 20th century.”

According to the film's synopsis, "Jackie places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the first lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of Camelot that they created and loved so well."

Portman has received raves for her portrayal of the former first lady. "You can’t take your eyes off of her," said Vanity Fair. "Her Jackie is both inscrutable and naked, broken but unquestionably resilient, a mess and yet fiercely dignified," raved theThe Hollywood Reporter. "Once you get past her speech affectations in the first few minutes, the actress disappears into the role and covers a range of difficult emotions," wrote Collider.

Fox Searchlight is also releasing The Birth of a Nation on Oct. 7, which led awards talk when it made its debut earlier this year at Sundance Film Festival. The film was received warmly by audiences in the Toronto, but director/star/writer Nate Parkercame under criticism Sunday after bypassing personal questions surrounding his controversial past.

Parker and co-screenwriter Jean Celestin were tried for rape when they were in college. Parker was acquitted; Celestin was convicted, a charge later overturned. The woman, whose name hasn't been disclosed, committed suicide in 2012.

 


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