Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures

4.5 11
Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse

     
 

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After winning a cult following for several offbeat and darkly witty gore films, New Zealand director Peter Jackson abruptly shifted gears with this stylish, compelling, and ultimately disturbing tale of two teenage girls whose friendship begins to fuel an ultimately fatal obsession. Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) is a student in New Zealand who doesn't much care for her… See more details below

Overview

After winning a cult following for several offbeat and darkly witty gore films, New Zealand director Peter Jackson abruptly shifted gears with this stylish, compelling, and ultimately disturbing tale of two teenage girls whose friendship begins to fuel an ultimately fatal obsession. Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) is a student in New Zealand who doesn't much care for her family or her classmates; she's a bit overweight and not especially gracious, but she quickly makes friends with Juliet (Kate Winslet), a pretty girl whose wealthy parents have relocated from England. Pauline and Juliet find they share the same tastes in art, literature, and music (especially the vocal stylings of Mario Lanza), and together they begin to construct an elaborate fantasy world named Borovnia, which exists first in stories and then in models made of clay. The more Pauline and Juliet dream of Borovnia, the more the two find themselves retreating into this fantastical world of art, adventure, and Gothic romance as they slowly drift away from reality. The girls' parents decide that perhaps they're spending too much time together, and try to bring them back into the real world, but this only feeds their continued obsession with Borovnia (and each other) and leads to a desperate and violent bid for freedom. Featuring excellent performances (especially by Kate Winslet) and imaginative production design and special effects, Heavenly Creatures skillfully allows the audience to see Pauline and Juliet both from their own fantastic perspective and how they seem to the rest of the world. Remarkably enough, Heavenly Creatures is based on a true story; in real life, Juliet grew up to become mystery novelist Anne Perry.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Brimming with both feral energy and surprising humanity, Heavenly Creatures was best defined by its director Peter Jackson, who called it "a murder story about love, a murder story with no villains." This idea is reflected in the film's treatment of its "heavenly creatures," two schoolgirls whose consuming fantasy world is much more fulfilling than what the real world offers them: reality, in the end, is the film's true villain, as its intrusion on the girls' fantasy world ultimately brings everything crashing down. As seen by Jackson, a director previously known for such gory gross-out films as Bad Taste and Dead Alive, the girls are intelligent, creative creatures hurtling along on a weird trajectory towards madness; as played by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey, they are vibrant characters undone as much by their vulnerability as by their destructiveness. Winslet and Lynskey are the film's strongest assets, playing off each other in perfectly nuanced harmony. Where Winslet's Juliet is cocky and brash, Lynskey's Pauline is subdued and glowering; together, they glow with a righteous fire bordering on lunacy. Jackson refuses to condemn or apologize for them, leaving viewers to elicit their own conclusions from the story's parade of horror and beauty.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/07/2010
UPC:
0065935839521
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
R
Source:
Ais
Time:
1:39:00
Sales rank:
57,202

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Melanie Lynskey Pauline Parker
Kate Winslet Juliet Hulme
Sarah Peirse Honora Parker
Diana Kent Hilda Hulme
Clive Merrison Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor Herbert Rieper
Peter Elliott Bill Perry
Elizabeth Moody Miss Waller
Liz Mullane Mrs Collins
Ray Henwood Professor
Barry Thomson Farmer/Policeman
Peter Jackson Bum outside theater

Technical Credits
Peter Jackson Director,Co-producer,Screenwriter
Alun Bollinger Cinematographer
Jim Booth Producer
Carolynne Cunningham Asst. Director
Peter Dasent Score Composer
Ngila Dickson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jill Gormack Art Director
Allen Guilford Cinematographer
Michael Hedges Sound/Sound Designer
John Hubbard Casting
Ros Hubbard Casting
Hanno Huth Executive Producer
Grant Major Production Designer
Liz Mullane Casting
George Port Special Effects
Jamie Selkirk Editor
Richard Taylor Special Effects
Frances Walsh Screenwriter

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