Plot – Two teenage girls share a unique bond; their parents, concerned that the friendship is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge – Heavenly Creatures.
Director – Peter Jackson
Released – 1994
In retrospect, you’d never know this is a Peter Jackson film. Not after becoming familiar with his recent work, anyway. Heavenly Creatures isn’t the CGI heavy extravagance that we now associate with his name, but a more personal movie filled with a level of subtlety and nuances lacking in later work.
Based on a real-life murder from the ’50s, Kate Winslet makes her film debut as Juliet Hulme, one of the two girls who’s close friendship lead to some dark events. This was Winslet’s breakout role, and it’s easy to see why. Shining with youthful exuberance, you find it hard to imagine anyone so angelic-looking could be capable of such cruelty.
However, it’s the performance of Melanie Lynskey as Pauline Parker that I found the most enjoyable. She’s the true opposite to Winslet’s character, in both looks and mannerisms. Building on the excellent performances, Jackson’s skill as a talented director was clear for all to see. Helping to create an atmosphere of cuteness that stops you from noticing the tension of what is slowly building, before hitting you with a sucker punch of an ending (even for those of you familiar with the real-life events that the film is based around).
If you’re into drama, real-life crime, or coming-of-age stories gone wrong, the deceivingly sweet and innocent, Heavenly Creatures is definitely not for the faint-hearted, especially the brutal ending that contrasts wonderfully with the atmosphere created in the minds of these two girls throughout the rest of the movie.
If you liked: Mulholland Drive, Cruel Intentions, Election