This listing is for Hilary and Jackie VHS Video Tape.
Actors: Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths, James Frain, David Morrissey, Charles Dance
Directors: Anand Tucker
Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Hilary du Pré, Piers du Pré
Producers: Andy Paterson, Guy East, Nicolas Kent, Nigel Sinclair
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Former Rental
Rated: R - Restricted
Number of tapes: 1
Run Time: 121 minutes
Emily Watson performs a miracle here with her portrayal of the famous cellist Jacqueline du Pre. I rarely find any actor successful in playing the role of a musician. Inevitably the hand and arm movements are unconvincing and when acting the part of a pianist the actor is not seen with their hands on the keys for that reason. In this movie Emily appears to play the cello with all the intensity of the famous artist she portrays making me a true believer that we were indeed watching the real artist at work. I call that a miracle performance! We see the early years when Jackie and her sister Hilary grow up together in a household that supports their musical talent and then in a strange twist of fate the more apparently talented of the two sisters gradually ends up in second place next to her sister who eventually becomes a world renown cellist. This happenstance leads to some strange psychological quirks going on between them. Jackie is later stricken with a debilitating disease that robs her of the ability to play anymore; a cruel and horrid thing to happen leading Jackie to question her worth as a human being. Under this stress she runs "home" to her sister and husband leading to a strange triangle that entangles all of them. The action plays out against a backdrop of ravishing music that reminds us every second of the talent being robbed here. The plot is provided from the contents of a book sister Hilary wrote about the family leading many musicians to complain that surely this is more fiction than reality. Frankly I don't care; the film is so magnificent I can take the plot as is and mourn the loss of a great cellist and wonderful human being. Both actresses won an academy award nomination for their performances. The movie is ultimately very sad, everyone involved should feel proud for what should be recognized as a tribute to a great artist.
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