Troy Patterson
July 09, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Hilary and Jackie

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
01/15/99
performer
Rachel Griffiths, Emily Watson
director
Anand Tucker
distributor
October Films
author
Frank Cottrell Boyce
genre
Drama

We gave it a B

In the tradition of Shine, Amadeus, and Pink Floyd — The Wall, this precious biopic holds that musical genius is born of minimal socialization. In Hilary and Jackie, cellist Jacqueline du Pre and her flautist sister Hilary — respectively played as adults with Oscar-nominated zest by Watson and Griffiths — wage a decades-long rivalry. Jackie’s a hysterical pixie; Hilary’s a sulky sprite. Neither the stars’ harmonious interplay nor director Anand Tucker’s insistent urbanity of camera work can disguise that the cello drama is melodrama. B

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