Hilary and Jackie (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  15 January 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,538 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 110 user | 68 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

The tragic story of world renowned classic cellist Jacqueline du Pré, as told from the point of view of her sister, flautist Hilary du Pré-Finzi.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Du Pré
Daniel Barenboim
Kiffer Finzi
Derek Du Pré
Iris Du Pré
Piers Du Pré
Cello Teacher
Auriol Evans ...
Young Jackie
Young Hilary (as Keeley Flanders)
Grace Chatto ...
Nyree Dawn Porter ...
Maggie McCarthy ...
Professor Bentley
Anthony Smee ...
BBC Nabob


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two sisters. Two lives. One Love... See more »


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hilary y Jackie  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$92,956 (USA) (1 January 1999)


$4,874,838 (USA) (23 April 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The lines, "...O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, / How can we know the dancer from the dance?", are from the poem, 'Among School Children' by William Butler Yeats. See more »


When a Japanese newspaper is shown publicizing Jackie's performance, the headline above the photo actually reported that the Japanese budget had been approved by parliament. See more »


Jackie du Pré: [mid-recital] Excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I have broken my A string
[leaves stage]
Jackie du Pré: at least it wasn't my G string.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


D Minor Suite for Flute, Strings
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Excerpts played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange Sisterhood
29 May 2000 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

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?

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