Some of the world’s top classical musicians joined together in criticizing a movie about the late celebrated British cellist Jacqueline Du Pre. “Hilary and Jackie” explores the life of the distinguished musician, who died of multiple sclerosis in 1987 at age 42, and her troubled relationship with her older sister, Hilary. (British actress Emily Watson has been nominated for a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of the cellist.) In a letter printed in Wednesday’s London Times, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber (brother of Andrew) condemned the film as portraying du Pre as “selfish, spoiled and manipulative.” Violinists Itzhak Perlman and Lord Menuhin, as well as Du Pre’s former teacher William Pleeth, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and conductor Pinchas Zukerman — who are portrayed in the film — also signed the letter. “This is not the Jacqueline du Pre that we, as her friends and colleagues, knew,” they wrote.

  • “They are calling this a true story, but they have based it totally on the writings of a very bitter and envious sister,” Lloyd Webber told the British Press Association.
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