Hilary and Jackie


Time Out says

This subjective double take transcends the limitations of the biopic to exult in the artistry of the great cellist Jacqueline du Pré, even as it poses profound troubling questions about communication, destiny and the artist's sense of her own identity. Taking its cue from the controversial memoir A Genius in the Family, by Jackie's siblings Hilary and Piers, the movie begins with the prodigy finding free expression in the cello, and rapidly overtaking her elder sister's musical development. This opening movement is played out in a florid, ostentatiously romantic style which is slowly undercut as the sisters - now played by Watson and Griffiths - go their separate ways. Jackie disappears into music's jet setting high society, while Hilary's self-confidence gets a boost from the courtship of the ebullient Kiffer Finzi (Morrisey). When they come together again, the trauma is a defining moment in their lives and the movie's emotional centrepiece. The film's most audacious inspiration is to track back from this shocking, very moving and apparently unforgivable act, to retrace events from Jackie's perspective, revealing her loneliness and her ambivalence towards her instrument and her calling. Watson's performance is virtuoso: passionate, sensitive, impressionable and sometimes grotesque; and she's well matched by the subtle Griffiths and vibrant Morrisey.

By: TCh


Release details

122 mins

Cast and crew

Anand Tucker
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Emily Watson
Rachel Griffiths
James Frain
David Morrisey
Charles Dance
Celia Imrie
Rupert Penry Jones
Bill Paterson
Nyree Dawn Porter
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