In the new film Jackie, Natalie Portman portrays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the week following her husband's assassination. The movie depicts her trauma and her iron-willed planning of a funeral that would cement his legacy. Then she works to burnish the legend of Camelot in a magazine interview that she carefully controls.
Jackie was the first screenwriting effort from Noah Oppenheim, whose career has taken some interesting twists.
A Harvard graduate, Oppenheim landed a job out of college with Chris Matthews' show Hardball on MSNBC. He spent his 20s at NBC News, co-creating Mad Money with Jim Cramer and putting in a stint at the Today show. Oppenheim left for Hollywood in 2008 to work first as a television executive and then as a screenwriter. But in 2015, he circled back to the East Coast, taking the helm at the Today show. So strangely, he is now in that job while in the awards conversation for his Jackie screenplay.
We talked to Oppenheim about this unusual career, which this year included the hiring and firing of Billy Bush, and the experience of watching acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky hand the Jackie project over to Chilean director Pablo Larrain.