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Hilary & Jackie

Reviewed By gollum
Posted 10/25/99 19:33:40

"A film that represents what films really should be"
5 stars (Awesome)

An excellent film about the life of Jackie du Pre, who as a famous cellist shows in great detail the lighter and darker sides of being in the public eye. The mood of this film is spectacular.

The premise of the movie's beginning is to create the feeling experienced between two sisters who have a special bond. Best friends who share everything, who can read each other's minds and especially who share a talent for music.

The movie begins with our main characters as girls. Jackie (the younger) plays the cello, while Hilary experiences great success as a young flutest. Hilary's success leaves Jackie behind a little in talent. During a BBC radio broadcast Jackie messes things up with a drum leaving her mother to comment to her daughters:
"If you want to be together, you must be as good as each other"

Jackie soon becomes so involved in becoming as good as her sister, that she is seen playing at the dinner table on an imaginary cello, the same thing during her classes at school.

When Jackie is older she eventually finds success (by now she is Emily Watson). While experiencing success it is Hilary (played brilliantly by Rachel Griffiths), who fades away, eventually giving up the flute and living on a farm with her husband Kiffer. It is here where we experience the stories of Hilary and Jackie.

First Hilary who's story is very normal, she marries, has children and lives on a farm. Obviously Hiliary's and Jackie's stories a slightly different but remain realitively the same.

Jackie's story shows a woman who is constantly wanted yet never loved. She eventually longs for her sister's company and returns to stay with Hilary and her family. The bond between the sisters proves to be so strong that Hilary lets Jackie sleep with her husband. (Personally I found this scene disturbing and unecessary in the film, I understand the emotional element but honestly there are better ways than to show Kiffer bonking Jackie while Hilary listens from the next room).

In the end Hilary and Jackie is an excellent film about two sisters who are at the same time very alike and very different. The competition between the two lasts until well near the end showing the emotional stories of both characters.

It's always been hard to fault Emily Watson so I'll say that she is once again, excellent. her portrayal is staggering and the emotion she displays proves her beyond her worth.

Even more brilliant is the wonderful Rachel Griffiths who brings the lovely Hilary to life in just subtle grace and beauty. It is a crime that she did not win the Oscar, but then again I think most people who should get it never do anyway.

If Rachel Griffiths is the type of actor that we are producing at the moment then we have nothing to worry about in regards to success. There are many actors who can learn from her.

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