7.4/10
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Hilary and Jackie (1998)

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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.

Director:

Anand Tucker

Writers:

Hilary du Pré (book), Piers du Pré (book) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Watson ... Jackie Du Pré
Rachel Griffiths ... Hilary Du Pré
James Frain ... Daniel Barenboim
David Morrissey ... Kiffer Finzi
Charles Dance ... Derek Du Pré
Celia Imrie ... Iris Du Pré
Rupert Penry-Jones ... Piers Du Pré
Bill Paterson ... Cello Teacher
Auriol Evans Auriol Evans ... Young Jackie
Keylee Jade Flanders ... Young Hilary (as Keeley Flanders)
Grace Chatto Grace Chatto ... Teena
Nyree Dawn Porter ... Dame Margot Fonteyn
Maggie McCarthy Maggie McCarthy ... Margaret
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Professor Bentley
Anthony Smee Anthony Smee ... BBC Nabob
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The true story of two sisters who shared a passion, a madness and a man. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hilary y Jackie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£161,538 (United Kingdom), 12 February 1999, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,956, 3 January 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,874,838, 25 April 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2018, features Rachel Griffiths's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Toy Symphony
Written by Franz Joseph Haydn
Excerpts played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Musical genius, destroyed by multiple sclerosis
7 January 2000 | by mjbarklSee all my reviews

I've read the 54 reviews here, and agree with most, both positive and negative, but I have a different perspective. Of all instruments, cello speaks to me most deeply. I do not play, I sing (deep bass, centered below the bottom of the bass staff, presently studying music in college after retirement), but still the cello resonates within my soul. I grieve that I never got the chance to see Jacqueline in her prime. But more so, that MS brought her down and killed her.

My wife has MS, is about 2/3 the way through the course of the disease. Its pace for her is much slower than the 20 years it took to kill Jackie. Slower, but just as bitterly relentless. The devastation of the disease is portrayed effectively in the film even though it is compressed in the telling. Some critics challenged the portrayal of incontinence, of tremors, of puzzling mental behavior. Those portrayals were quite accurate and the challenges unwarranted.

The one portrayal I would challenge is the final scene of Jackie being fed reclining. As I understand it, at least from current writings on the subject, the manner in which that was done would guarantee (aspiration) pneumonia and death because of the damage MS does to the swallowing reflex which uses the vocal cords to keep contaminants out of the lungs. I hope that portrayal was inaccurate. Other than this one glitch, I've found the movie haunting, invading my thoughts at quiet times and while drifting in and out of sleep. Sorry critics, I give it a 10, for the ballet of bond and competition between the sisters, for the portrayal of the musical genius of both of them, for the tragedy wrought by MS, for the powerful telling of the tale.....


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