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Hilary and Jackie

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Two little girls, Hilary and Jackie du Pré, are inseparable. At first Hilary, the elder sister, is the star musician but when Jackie reaches the tender age of nine, her extraordinary gift as a cellist takes the world by storm. As they grow up, they grow apart. When Hilary announces her marriage to Kiffer, a talented young conductor, Jackie responds by announcing her own engagement to the renowned pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim.

The two sisters lose touch with one another, until one day Jackie arrives unannounced at the remote farmhouse where Hilary and Kiffer live with their children. Desperate for love and reassurance, Jackie tells Hilary that she wants Kiffer. Hilary has never been able to say no to her sister and Jackie becomes part of the family, until one day Kiffer decides it has to stop. Jackie walks away from her sister's house and we see how life looked from her point of view.

Then Jackie meets Daniel Barenboim at a party. She takes her hated instrument and speaks to him through it. But as the world celebrates their fairy-tale love story, something is happening to Jackie. Constantly tired, she fears she's losing her mind. One night, on tour, she can't feel her fingers. She collapses.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Jackie is relieved to know she is not going mad. The celebrated cellist becomes a celebrity invalid, rejecting her sister who she believed had let her down at her moment of greatest need. Only as the end nears can the two women reach across the divide to find a moment of peace and happiness together.


Type of film
Anand Tucker 1st Feature
Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Ruth Jackson
Director of Photography
David Johnson BSc
Principal Cast
Emily Watson, Rachel Griffiths, James Frain, David Morrisey, Charles Dance
Executive Screen Writer
Frank Cottrell Boyce


Production status


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Last updated 26th November 2005

Production Company

Oxford Film Company
6 Erskine Road
London NW3 3AJ
Tel: 020 7483 3637
Fax: 020 7483 3567


9-13 Grosvenor Street
London W1X 9FB
Tel: 020 7495 3322
Fax: 020 7495 3993