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Hilary & Jackie

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Hilary & Jackie + Jacqueline Du Pre: A Celebration of Her Unique Enduring Gift + Jacqueline Du Pre: Complete EMI Recordings
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Editorial Reviews

The incredible true story of two sisters joined by music and torn apart by love for the same man. Hilary (Rachel Griffiths, Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress) and Jacqueline du Pre (Emily Watson, nominee for Best Actress) grow up as musical prodigies in England in the 1950s. While Hilary chooses to start a family, Jackie quickly rises to international fame and fortune. She dazzles audiences with unbridled passion for her music and soon marries renowned pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. Although they are treated as musical royalty, the constant touring becomes a strain in Jackie. She longs for the simpler life that Hilary built and more. On an unannounced visit, a lonely and depressed Jackie reveals that unthinkable: that she also longs for her sister's husband.

Special Features

  • Production Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast and Filmmakers

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths, James Frain, David Morrissey, Charles Dance
    • Directors: Anand Tucker
    • Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce
    • Producers: Andy Paterson, Nicolas Kent
    • Format: Full Screen, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
    • Run Time: 121 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00007ELEW
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,037 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Hilary & Jackie" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    3.9 out of 5 stars

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By bookloversfriend on February 26, 2006
    Format: DVD
    I am amazed when I read people condemning various things based on this movie. Some condemn Hilary. Some (like the Amazon reviewer) condemn the book itself--obviously without having first taken the trouble to read the book. Some condemn what went on sexually.

    To set the record straight (from the book and from another biography of Jackie):

    The book does not "dish dirt" on Jackie. Quite the contrary.

    There is not the slightest hint that the grown-up Hilary was jealous of Jackie (though she was briefly as a child). Both she and Jackie saw the many disadvantages of Jackie's fame. Hilary expresses relief that it is not her life. Jackie expresses envy of Hilary's happy life. She hated being pushed into concert tours by her ambitious husband, Barenboim. She often simply rebelled and left.

    Hilary did not "give permission" for her husband to sleep with Jackie. Jackie was terribly upset and ran away across the fields. She asked Kiffer to have sex with her and he did because she thought it would help her. Kiffer told Hilary about it as soon as they returned. (What is covered up by the clumsy, "arty" anti-chronological approach of this movie is that Jackie had ALREADY noticed that her hands were sometimes numb! Imagine the effect that must have had on a cellist!)

    The nonsense in the movie about Jackie losing her mind is garbage made up by the screenwriter. AT NO TIME did Jackie think that she was crazy. The idiot psychoanalyst that Hilary and Kiffer finally referred her to when they saw that the sex wasn't really helping Jackie thought that Jackie's numbness was hysterical (all in her mind). Jackie NEVER believed that. And no one in real life thought that she had any other psychopathological symptoms.
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    68 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on September 17, 2006
    Format: DVD
    There is a certain school of thought which holds that biopics have no obligations to historical accuracy -- that this is the exclusive province of documentaries or books. I happen to disagree. There are plenty of documentaries that "dramatize" real-life events in the form of dialogue, and many Hollywood films (e.g. _Pollock_, or _My Left Foot_) which were made with concern for accuracy and respect for the memories of specific historical events or characters. If a movie uses real-life names, locations, etc, then misinformation would be malicious that infect the perceptions of mass audiences who see (and for the most part believe) them. A movie that denies the Holocaust or tramples over the memories of war veterans cannot be said to be ideologically unmotivated, but still more callous is such misinformation that is made for purely monetary reasons.

    _Hilary and Jackie_, a film dramatization of the life of English cello prodigy Jacqueline du Pré, is one of these. It presents a very heterodox portrayal of Jacqueline's overall character, and has been denounced by her friends and colleagues who knew her throghout her life (Barenboim, Rostropovich, et al) as a complete distortion of the Jacqueline they knew. For e.g., she is remembered by her students and colleagues as being emotionally vibrant with an impassioned love of her craft, while in the film she is portrayed as an insufferable bunch of neuroses who despised her cello -- it having a negative influence on her self-esteem. She is depicted making an indulgent demand to have a sexual relationship with Finzi, her brother-in-law. Her sister Hilary (the apparent heroine of the story), ever selfless, obliges for the benefit of her apparently disturbed sister.
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    18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    Although "Hilary and Jackie" is an interesting film in and of itself, I can understand why many people in the music industry who knew Jacqueline du Pre--even Hilary's own daughter Claire--denounced the film as a highly inaccurate picture of this world-famous cellist. The movie is said to be based on Hilary and her brother Piers' memoir, "A Genius in the Family," but those who read the book will notice crucial differences in the timing and interpretation of certain events. I don't know if Hilary advised on or approved of the final product, but the filmmakers have made numerous changes, apparently to exaggerate the supposed rivalry between the sisters.
    The early scene, for example, in which Jacqueline's mother tells her after an unsuccessful concert that if she wants to play with Hilary, she must play as well as Hilary. This admonition supposedly sets Jacqueline off in maniacal practicing, but Hilary's memoir makes it clear that Jackie practiced the cello diligently, and that her phenomenal talent was obvious, from day one. Later, Jacqueline's on-screen family is shocked when she sends her laundry home from Vienna (what are we, servants?), yet the book treats it as nothing callous, merely a way to stay in touch (notes and presents also went back and forth in the laundry). Nor does the book mention the sisters' alleged late-night conversation--"you're not special", etc.--or present Jacqueline's husband as so shallow and self-centered.
    Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths both deserved their nominations, but I'd recommend reading the book, too, just to give both sisters a fair shake.
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