Hilary and Jackie (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hilary and Jackie1998

Hilary and Jackie (1998)



Critic Consensus: Brilliant performances, lush cinematography, and complex storytelling deserve audience's attention.

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Movie Info

The touching and incredible true story of Jacqueline and Hilary du Pre, the gifted musical sisters who grew up in England in the 1950's. Written and produced as a tribute to Jackie, the story traces her rapid rise to international fame and the devastating consequences it had on her and those she loved. Jacqueline du Pre was arguably the greatest prodigy of the 20th Century. She dazzled audiences around the world with the unbridled passion and beauty of her music. While her sister Hilary married and began a family at home, Jackie and her husband, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, traveled and performed around the world. Although the couple was treated as musical royalty, the constant touring became a tremendous strain on Jackie who longed for the simpler life that her sister built. Arriving at Hilary's home for an unannounced visit, Jackie, lonely and desperate, leaned on her sister expecting and demanding the unthinkable.

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Emily Watson
as Jacqueline Du Pre
Rachel Griffiths
as Hilary Du Pre
David Morrissey
as Kiffer Finzi
James Frain
as Daniel Barenboim
Charles Dance
as Derek Du Pre
Celia Imrie
as Iris Du Pre
Rupert Penry-Jones
as Piers Du Pre
Bill Paterson
as Jackie's Cello Teacher
Keeley Flanders
as Young Hilary
Auriol Evans
as Young Jackie
Nyree Dawn Porter
as Dame Margot Fonteyn
Vernon Dobtcheff
as Professor Bentley
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Critic Reviews for Hilary and Jackie

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (22)

Told from both women's points of view, this fascinating, if sometimes overwrought, tale packs a wallop. Watson's bravura performance shows us the agony, the ecstasy and the ruthlessness of genius.

March 2, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is an actors' film, and the actors are actually rather good. That may not make it a fashionable movie, but it's not a negligible achievement.

June 18, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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 but flawed biography, the debut feature from Anand Tucker.

March 26, 2009

Watson's performance is virtuoso: passionate, sensitive, impressionable and sometimes grotesque; and she's well matched by the subtle Griffiths and vibrant Morrisey.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A flawed but powerful Shine-esque tale of love, music, and madness!

January 1, 2000

"Hilary and Jackie" is either an incredibly complex movie or an incredibly confusing one. Since I can't seem to make up my mind which one it is, I guess I'll have to cast my vote for confusing.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Hilary and Jackie

The du Pre sisters played by a couple of fine performers. I imagine that sisters will get the most out of the experience but it I certainly enjoyed it.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Interesting biopic of two musical sisters. I don't follow the world of classical music, so I had never heard of Jackie du Pre. The movie does make you care for her and the waste of her life cut short by MS.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

A modest, occasionally gorgeous bio pic with fantastic performances by Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths. The same story told twice device (pardon the rhyme) cleverly offers insight into Jackie's character. She's really not a self-involved bitch, she's understandably jealous of the simple life Hilary has going for her. It sounds rather obvious on paper, but it really comes through on film. I would have liked to learn more about Rachel Griffth's husband's character, but hey, there's not who the film chooses to focus on. Emily Watson is an amazing actress (see: Breaking the Waves) and she flaunts her stuff in a showy role, without overdoing it. To her credit, Rachel Griffiths plays her supporting role straight, and shines simply for taking the back seat.

Joey Nevarez
Joey Nevarez

Super Reviewer

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