Experts agree that she was “total emotional and musical honesty, coupled with a technique that was so fine that it often went unnoticed. “ However, for her, she was only a trained freak.
I’m referring to Great Britain’s musical genius Jacqueline du Pré who died at the early age of 42 from MS (multiple sclerosis) which affected her nervous system. Jackie, as she was known, awed the world with her outstanding skill to play the cello.
She is particularly associated with Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor; her interpretation of that work has been described as “definitive” and “legendary”.
Her career was abruptly interrupted by multiple sclerosis, which banned her out of the musical community at the early age of 28, and led to her premature death. Following her death, her older sister Hilary du Pré and younger brother Piers, wrote a book about their family life, A Genius in the Family. It was the basis for the movie “Hilary and Jackie”, and both aroused fierce controversy.
I streamed this movie two days ago. It moved me deeply for two main reasons—for the extraordinary performance of Emily Watson who played Jackie and the brilliant music displayed in the film. In Hilary and Jackie, music and life flows through every minute.
The film attracted controversy and criticism for allegedly distorting details in Jacqueline’s life, and Hilary du Pré publicly defended her version of the story. Even though there are parts of the movie with explicit language and sexual scenes, the extraordinary music will elevate you to undreamed spiritual heights. The film was rated R for language and sexuality, requiring those under age 17 to be accompanied by an adult, by the MPAA in the U.S., and given a 15 certificate, restricting anyone under age 15 from seeing the film in a cinema, by the British Board of Film Classfication.
During one section of the movie, a score of exquisite orchestral music together with special sound effects, rattled me like a leaf in a storm, which ended with an unexpected musical climax. I don’t remember having felt like this during a movie.
I can’t emphasize enough, the extraordinary performance of Emily Watson. Even though I knew she was acting the scenes where she appeared to be playing the cello, she did it with such credibility, I really thought she was the real musician. Jacqueline du Pré’s cello in the movie was played and synchronized to Emily Watson’s movements by Caroline Dale.
I love drama and orchestral music. This movie has both. At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a link to stream this remarkable movie. If dramatic movies and brilliant classical music is your cup of tea, then by all means please click the link and enjoy quality to the nth degree. Oh, one more thing, don’t forget the popcorn. Good Day.
Hilary and Jackie – The Movie