Hilary and Jackie

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Released 1998

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Movie Summary

Director:
Anand Tucker
Released:
1998
Rating:
R
Hilary and Jackie tells the fact-based story of sisters Jacqueline and Hilary du Pre. The film opens with Jacqueline (Emily Watson) and Hilary (Rachel Griffiths) as little girls. Both girls are forced to play instruments by their parents, but Jacqueline is clearly the superior musician. As time passes, the lives of the two sisters sharply diverge. Jacqueline becomes an internationally celebrated virtuoso cellist and marries the famed conductor and pianist, Daniel Barenboim (James Frain). Hilary, meanwhile, becomes a rather ordinary flautist who plays for a community orchestra and marries a second-tier composer named Christopher Finzi (David Morrissey). Though Jacqueline appears to have everything, she suffers from severe emotional turmoil and ultimately has a nervous breakdown. Despite the fact that she often treats Hilary shabbily, her sister helps nurse her back to health, even as her health increasingly deteriorates. Hilary and Jackie tells the story of sisterly love and how it can survive even the most difficult circumstances.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    One of the most insightful and wrenching portraits of the joys and tribulations of being a classical musician ever filmed.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It takes two to be sisters, two to have a rivalry, and two exceptional actresses to turn Hilary and Jackie into a compelling look at the most intimate and troubling of family dynam...

  • 80

    Variety David Stratton

    Eye-grabbing performances from Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths, who portray celebrated British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre and her older sister, Hilary, distinguish this ambitious ...

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Biography, Independent, Love & Romance, Medical, Showbiz