Hilary and Jackie (1998) / Drama
MPAA Rated: R for language and sexuality
Running Time: 121 min.
Cast: Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths, James Frain, David Morrissey
Director: Anand Tucker
Screenplay: Frank Cottrell Boyce (based on the book, "A Genius in the Family" by Hilary and Piers du Pre)
Review published March 5, 1999
No, this isn't a documentary on two recent first ladies, this is the film based on the memoirs of Hilary du Pre (Griffiths, My Best Friend's Wedding) on her relationship with her sister and skilled cellist, Jacqueline du Pre (Watson, The Boxer). Starting from their childhood and their first interests in music, and later throughout their lives and loves, this relates the ups and downs of the two sisters' relationship and Jacqueline's brilliant career.
While it isn't the sort of subject that lends itself to movie greatness, the film is actually quite good, with solidly stylish direction by Anand Tucker (Shopgirl, Leap Year) and flawless performances by Watson and Griffiths. Lovely music is heard throughout the film, and excellent cinematography contributes to the flavor of the tale. The subject matter makes this a film that isn't for everyone's tastes, but the moments of brilliant filmmaking and moving storyline makes this a must-see for those in the mood for an engaging biographical tale with a heap of style.
©1999 Vince Leo