Hilary and Jackie

by KE Monahan Huntley

The quotation found at the end of story synopsis for American History X also has meaning for another pair of siblings, Hilary and Jacqueline du Pré in Hilary and Jackie. The film, written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Anand Tucker, is based upon the biographical book A Genius in the Family -- by Hilary and Piers du Pré. Emily Watson (Jackie) and Rachel Griffiths (Hilary) are mesmerizing as -- in different instances -- the main and influence characters.

Not quite a Dramatica grand argument, it does, however, offer a powerful relationship story. Talented (but not exceptionally so) Hilary subverts her own spotlight in acquiescence of her sister's brilliant cellist career-sacrificing her spirit to prop up Jackie's. The storyweaving includes a detached view of the subjective story-as well as each sister's Rashomonesque perspective of the relationship.

Hilary and Jackie are reminiscent of best friends Nel and Sula in Toni Morrison's Sula -- both relationships are tightly wound -- both are rent apart by a man. Ultimately, their amazing affinity overcomes all betrayal.

If there is an objective story, it is set in the world of classical music competition (os domain-physics), and really only serves as a backdrop to the psychological (rs domain) conflict that occurs between two sisters who are at once both ordinary and extraordinary.

About the Author

KE Monahan Huntley is an editor and publisher based in Southern California. As one of the original contributors to Dramatica, she helped edit and analyze many of the examples. In addition, her numerous articles provided an insightful "conversational" approach to the theory. Today she can be found at Write Between the Lines or follow her on Twitter @kemhuntley.

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