Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme met in school during the 1950s. Instant best friends, they proceeded to spend every minute possible together, often writing about a fantasy land of their own invention. More and more estranged from their respective families, the two girls realise that they are extremely different from most other people, and agree to take any steps necessary to ensure that they are not seperated. The two families are increasingly concerned about the girls' friendship in a strictly moralistic era.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
Pauline's diary shows January 1st, 1954 as a Thursday, when it was really a Friday. Earlier in the film, a similar shot of the same diary clearly shows the previous year and date (Thursday, January 1st, 1953.) See more »
[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]
[...] See more »
Preceding the end credits: "In the hours following Honora's murder, a police search of the Rieper house unearthed Pauline's diaries. This resulted in her immediate arrest for the murder of her mother. Juliet was arrested and charged with murder the following day. After Pauline's arrest it was discovered that Honora and Herbert Rieper had never married. Pauline was therefore charged under her mother's maiden name of Parker. In August 1954, a plea of insanity was rejected by the jury in the Christchurch Supreme Court trial, and Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme were found guilty of murder. Too young for the death penalty, they were sent to separate prisons to be 'Detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure.' Juliet was released in November, 1959 and immediately left New Zealand to join her mother overseas. Pauline was released two weeks later but remained in New Zealand on parole until 1965. It was a condition of their release that they never meet again." See more »
The original New Zealand version ran 108 min. Peter Jackson then cut 9 minutes from the film for the international release. (he has mentioned that the 99 min. cut is the one he prefers.) See more »
I understand why teenage girls would like this movie--the thrilling rush of new found deep friendship tied together with nascent sexuality and all that comes with it...the defying of the confines of the world around them...the incredible power of unfettered creativity and self-delusional belief...
What's amazing is that a jaded thirty-something man like myself would consider it to be his favorite film of all time. Peter Jackson shows a deftness in handling interpersonal characterizations and blending in amazing special effects in a way that seems so natural...so fluid...that you while you're awed by what you see, you're not so aware of the process that you're distracted. The oh-so-1993 effect of "morphing" is used better here than any other film (save, perhaps, Terminator 2--but in that movie, the morphing WAS the film...when here, it is merely one element.)
The direction is exemplary. The cinematography is awe inspiring. The script is sharp. The acting...down the line...is superb. Melanie Lynskey delivers a brave performance--giddy, childish, frightening, sexual, clouded... She's everything Christina Ricci pretends to be. Kate Winslet--hyper-bright and wonderful...her performance here reminds you that her "Titanic" performance was "sunk" (sorry!) by the extremely poor dialogue she was given. Her character's overly cheerful demeanor is a mask that covers her disappointment in her parents--but it's extended so far that it no longer seems like a mask...it seems to be a force of nature that drags Lynskey's Pauline along for a dangerous ride...a ride that Winslet's Juliet is in no position to control. There are crisp performances from all of the supporting cast as well.
Jackson should be listed with Gilliam and even Lynch when it comes to directors who can achieve a glorious, if dark, vision. The fact that Jackson's movies (save for "Meet the Feebles") are mainstream accessible--in ways that Lynch, especially, could barely consider (although "The Frighteners" was painfully overlooked by the US market)--makes me wish that he'd try his hand at more mainstream material.
Imagine what a Peter Jackson "Titanic" would have been like...and compare that to what a James Cameron "Heavenly Creatures" would have been like and you get my point.
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