Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. United Kingdom, 1998. Arts Council of England, British Screen Productions, Channel Four Films, Intermedia Films, The Oxford Film Company. Screenplay by based on the book A Genius In The Family by Cinematography by Produced by Nicolas Kent, Andy Paterson. Music by Barrington Pheloung. Production Design by Alice Normington. Costume Design by Sandy Powell. Film Editing by Martin Walsh. Academy Awards 1998. Golden Globe Awards 1998. Online Film Critics Awards 1998. Toronto International Film Festival 1998. Venice Film Festival 1998.
Hilary DuPre (Rachel Griffiths) is a brilliant flautist who chooses the life of wife and mother over fame and fortune. Jacqueline DuPre (Emily Watson) is a world-celebrated cellist who feels that she just fell into the role of celebrity player and now can’t get a hold of her own personal life again. The experiences that these two sisters share is the focal point for this marvelous musical biopic, one that surpasses even Shine in its intensity. The film starts with showing the girls’ childhood with their generous and supportive mother (Celia Imrie), and then goes on to tell the same block of their adulthood twice, once from Hilary’s point of view and once from Jackie’s, then moves on to the later years when Jackie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The combination of Watson’s fiery intensity and Griffiths’ beautifully subdued manner is unbelievably perfect.