British sisters Hilary du Pré and Jacqueline du Pré are both talented musicians, Hilary a flautist, Jackie a cellist. With regard to their musical prowess, they have always had a friendly competitive nature with each other, fueled in large part by the want of their pianist mother, Iris, for them to achieve musical greatness. But underlying this friendliness is a deep desire to be truly better than the other. Despite or perhaps in part because of her flamboyant performance style, the younger Jackie emerges from the shadows of older Hilary's more triumphant childhood successes to become the renowned musician in the family. Although both continue with their music and both end up marrying (Hilary to Kiffer Finzi, and Jackie to pianist Daniel Barenboim), Hilary focuses on her home life, whereas Jackie focuses on her career. A seemingly odd request by Jackie to Hilary is later understood, but Hilary's agreement to that request demonstrates the true nature of their loving but unusual ... Written by
The film has never been released in France to avoid any litigation from the real life Daniel Barenboim. See more »
We see Catalan cello master Pau Casals after a concert in Madrid in the early-1960s. But Pau Casals swore never to return to Spain from exile because Franco was still in power after the coup d'état and 1939's Spanish Civil War. Franco died in 1975, two years after Casals' own death in exile. See more »
Hilary and Jackie is a biographical film about two contemporary English sisters, Hilary and Jacqueline du Pré. Both are musical prodigies as children, but as they mature into women, it is Jackie, the cellist, who moves on to international fame, while Hilary opts for husband and family on an English farm.
The film covers the complex, and troubling relationship between the two sisters, and Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths give brilliant performances in the title roles. What was the Academy thinking when they were both passed over? And the music! It's always in the forefront, and helps move the story as much as the actors and screenplay.
Not to be missed, this is one of the more enjoyable (although not uplifting) movies of 1998. Well worth the cost of the rental.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?