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Heavenly Creatures (1994)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 47,406 users  
Reviews: 261 user | 92 critic

Two girls have an intense fantasy life; their parents, concerned the fantasy is too intense, separate them, and the girls take revenge.

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(screenplay) (as Frances Walsh) , (screenplay)
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Title: Heavenly Creatures (1994)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sarah Peirse ...
Honora Parker Rieper
Diana Kent ...
Clive Merrison ...
Dr. Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor ...
Herbert Rieper
...
John / Nicholas
...
Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie ...
Dr. Bennett
Geoffrey Heath ...
Rev. Norris
Kirsti Ferry ...
Wendy
Ben Skjellerup ...
Jonathan Hulme
Darien Takle ...
Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody ...
Miss Waller
Liz Mullane ...
Mrs. Collins
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Storyline

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 <aj_lum@postoffice.utas.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not all angels are innocent. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a chilling murder and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 October 1994 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

Heavenly Creatures: The Uncut Version  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,049,135 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Since the Parker-Hulme murder had been an infamous crime that was strongly sensationalized in New Zealand history Jackson decided rather than do a film that would be a historical look back at the crime to instead create a drama about Parker and Hulme's intense friendship. In addition to reading Pauline Parker's diary Jackson and company undertook a nation wide search for anyone who had known the girls and interviewed them to get a closer look at their life. See more »

Goofs

When Steve arrives with his new Doris Day record, the record jacket bends and crushes as he gets out his board money for Honora, revealing that the jacket is empty. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[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]
Juliet Hulme: Mummy!
Pauline Parker: Mummy!
Juliet Hulme: Mummmmy!
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the brave Borovnian extras. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Frighteners (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

You'll Never Walk Alone
Written by Richard Rodgers (as Rogers) / Oscar Hammerstein II (as Hammerstein)
By Permission of EMI Music Publishing
Performed by Mario Lanza
Courtesy of BMG/Arista/Ariola Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
16 March 2004 | by (Waynesville, OH) – See all my reviews

While watching Heavenly Creatures, we bring ourselves to sympathize with two unlikely heroines, and then they betray our trust by committing an unthinkable crime; by the time the film has ended, we feel as if our emotions have been chewed up and spat back out to the degree where we don't know WHAT to feel anymore. Heavenly Creatures is either the greatest act of manipulation ever put on film or a brilliant masterpiece about the dark side of life: personally, I think it's a little bit of both. Either way, I'm still trying to get my pulse to return to its normal rate. Director Peter Jackson (who before this had only made a number of cheap nasty horror movies -- Bad Taste and Braindead being the most popular --, but later became one of the most talked-about film-makers as a result of his film interpretation of The Lord of the Rings) does some remarkable things with bringing this horrendous true story to the screen: not only is this one of the most amazing motion pictures I've ever viewed, but it is one of the most important films to date. Period. Pauline (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet (Kate Winslet) have developed an inseparable friendship whose intimacy is questioned by their strict parents -- Pauline's being the most stern. As their lives (and our sentiments) are suddenly torn apart, they decide to run off together -- but this could mean having to murder someone. I will not go any further in describing the plot (and I fear that I may already have said too much), not because I want it to surprise you, but because this film is so powerful that I would be doing a disservice to it if I tried to describe it in mere words. Written by Jackson and his real-life spouse, Frances Walsh, the screenplay for Heavenly Creatures is nothing short of remarkable (it even garnered the Academy's attention, earning the film's singular nomination). We both hate and love the two main characters, but most of all we just want them to be happy, to which Jackson and Walsh ask us the question, "at what cost?" Their scenes together -- ESPECIALLY the joyous ones -- are drenched with an unbearable amount of foreboding hopelessness that makes the inevitable conclusion even more tense. In her debut film role, Kate Winslet displays much of the potential she fulfilled later on in her career, but Melanie Lynskey (who has only achieved modest success since) deserves an equal amount of praise -- if not more. By the time we're sucked into the story (which doesn't take long), we forget that they're even acting, and our eyes are peeled to the screen with a voyeuristic intensity that is utterly discomforting. Jackson's direction is simply stunning: his visual depiction of the girls' surreal alternate universe is altogether mesmerizing. Heavenly Creatures is both fascinating and repelling in a way reminiscent of David Lynch's Blue Velvet. But after having written all this, I am still brought to the ultimate conclusion that words cannot contain the experience of viewing this film. There are only a few films that were genuinely painful for me to watch (Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men and Kimberly Pierce's Boys Don't Cry among them), but this is certainly such a film, and I would not recommend it to the faint of heart. This is not a movie you enjoy (and if you do, you should seek psychiatric help), but it is one you will never forget; I know I certainly won't.

Grade: A+


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