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Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship. Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Director Peter Jackson opens with the scene that should, logically, end the film: that is, the moments immediately following the murder. The girls Juliet and Pauline run screaming up the hill-path to the tea-house, sobbing and covered in blood. The scene is intercut with b&w visions of the two running across a ship deck to meet Dr. and Mrs. Hulme, whom they both refer to as their mother, as the first three exclamations of "Mummy!" demonstrate]
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Preceding the opening credits: "During 1953 and 1954 Pauline Yvonne Parker kept diaries recording her friendship with Juliet Marion Hulme. This is their story. All diary entries are in Pauline's own words." See more »
Lesbian murderers ? I'm sort of guessing that I might not like this movie very much . No doubt we'll be seeing some polemical do gooder film maker with zero talent making a movie where anyone who gets murdered by the gay girls probably asked for it because they were a rabid homophobe
That was my abstract opinion of HEAVENLY CREATURES when it was released to some critical acclaim ten years ago , with much of the acclaim going to writer/director Peter Jackson whose previous gory horror comedies I'd enjoyed . Yeah the guy was talented I remember thinking , but in a liberal climate we'd no doubt be hearing a myriad of excuses via the film for the girls crime and it was this attitude that stopped me from watching the movie until it was broadcast on BBC 2 tonight
I was fooling myself if I thought Jackson was going to make a bad movie . This is another piece of heart melting , intelligent movie making from the Kiwi genius and I'm sorry for doubting Jackson for a moment . What Jackson has done has made a movie where it's difficult to think of the two protagonists as " lesbian lovers " , Pauline Reiper and Juliet Hulme are two teenagers who love each other full stop and the screenplay doesn't once make any excuses for anything that happens , we're not supposed to feel disgusted by their relationship , we're not supposed to feel that they are victims in any way and we're not supposed to feel that a conservative , homophobic society is to blame for what happened . Jackson deserves much credit for making an amoral movie without an agenda , it's up to the free thinking audience to make up their own minds on the case. Take for example the murder of Mrs Rieper who kindly takes the girls to a tea house then for a walk in the countryside . It's difficult not to notice that if she'd been an uncaring cruel dragon with absolutely no conscience the girls wouldn't have had an opportunity to murder the woman .
It's also a movie that captures the spirit of being a teenager in love . When for whatever reason you have to say goodbye to your first love it's the end of the world . You'll do anything to stop it happening - ANYTHING - and you won't forgive anyone who caused it to happen . Fantasy sequences similar to the ones shown here are also a staple diet of the teenage mind and if you disagree with me you're either being dishonest or you're under twelve years of age . Believe me this movie reminded me , perhaps a little too much , of my own teenage angst
Jackson also deserves credit for his casting Melanie Lynskey and ( A then totally unknown ) Kate Winslet as Pauline and Juliet . Neither of them can be described as strikingly attractive and you do have to worry who we would have got instead if this was a Hollywood production , but they play the star crossed lovers with absolute conviction , as indeed do the rest of the cast
HEAVENLY CREATURES is beautiful , haunting , thoughtful and incisive . With the exception of Martin Scorsese I rate Peter Jackson as the world's greatest living film maker and HEAVENLY CREATURES is the first movie that showed the true greatness Jackson is capable of
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