Directed by: Anand Tucker
Starring: Rachel Griffiths (Hilary du Pré), Keeley Flanders (Young Hilary), Emily Watson (Jacqueline du Pré), Auriol Evans (Young Jackie), David Morrissey (Christopher Finzi), James Frain (Daniel Barenboim), Charles Dance (Derek du Pré), Celia Imrie (Iris du Pré)
Country: UK; Effed Up British-Irish Cinema
Language: English (Optional Eng Subs)
Genres: Based on a True Story, Siblings-Family, Misery-Unhappiness
About – Spoilers:
Based on the British prodigy-musician sisters, the du Prés, only one of whom went on to achieve worldwide acclaim before developing multiple sclerosis at the peak of her career.
This is more about sibling rivalry than tragedy and is told from two perspectives. One says you have someone who seemingly has the world at their feet and yet, all they can focus on are the little things someone else close to them has and the deep dissatisfaction this brings. The other perspective suggests a deeply lonely person reluctant to accept the unsolicited acclaim bestowed on her, when all she ever craved was acceptance back home that was perhaps grudgingly given or eternally insufficient for her insatiable needs.
One picture presents a pampered brat prone to throwing a fit even if it entailed self-abasement so long as she could have her way. The other is of a kinship without warmth.
In one world, Hilary du Pré was the more talented sister, but perhaps complacent, less driven, and unable to cope with the pressure of her little sister catching up on her. In another world, Jacqueline du Pré was younger and had an age-related disadvantage early on, but her drive and obsession – essential hallmarks of any genius – later just rocketed her out of reach, when they all eventually kicked in together.
Wherever your sympathies lie, most will probably agree on the standout performances that elevate this beyond just another soppy biopic and also on how each person opts to see only their truth while forgetting events and conversational bits just so they can echo-chamber their opinions of the other.