June 24, 1963
Director, Documentarian, Producer
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Born in Thailand, raised in Hong Kong and transplanted to London, Anand Tucker made his mark as a documentary filmmaker before switching to biopics, which allowed him some flights of fancy in the presentation of nonfiction material. Having worked with producers Andy Paterson and Nicolas Kent, as well as composer Barrington Pheloung, on his three documentaries airing on American television, he added screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce and director of photographer David Johnson to his creative team for the films that followed. Though his reach extended his grasp on "Saint-Ex" (1996), a curiously uninvolving look at French aviator-novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupery (despite striking visuals and a valiant attempt to shake up the genre), the director scored with the compelling "Hilary and Jackie" (1998), the story of sibling rivalry and love between virtuoso cellist Jacqueline du Pre and her sister Hilary.Tucker evoked the loneliness of Jackie's celebrated concert career and her longing for the settled life of her sister while depicting the premature silencing of her prodigious talent (and death at 42) from multiple sclerosis as a tragedy for audiences, deprived of the sweet music she could have made. Screenwriter Boyce devised the winning formula, a three-act structure adopting an omniscient point of view of their childhood and "Rashomon" perspectives from both adult principals for Acts Two and Three. In an Oscar-nominated lead portrayal, Emily Watson stunningly captured every nuance of a character trapped between genius and madness, and Rachel Griffiths earned a Best Supporting Actress nod for supplying the film's emotional center (and holding her own against Watson's powerhouse performance as Jackie).