Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey star in Peter Jackson's fantasy crime drama based on real events that took place in the 1950s. Dowdy teenager Pauline Parker (Lynskey)'s mundane existence in a New Zealand backwater is enlivened by the arrival of Juliet Hulme (Winslet), a sophisticated, precocious English girl. They create a fantasy world for themselves, but, as their relationship becomes an unnaturally close one, they begin to lay plans for a real-life murder.
A starkly original film-going experience based on a true-life story, this film from New Zealand director Peter Jackson (Braindead
, The Frighteners
) is a stirring drama that offers up the unexpected. The story concerns two girls, outcasts who become best friends, whose bizarre fantasy life becomes more intense as their bond becomes increasingly more obsessive. When the mother of one of the girls tries to intervene and split the girls apart, they kill her and stand trial for murder in what is still to this day a celebrated and controversial case. Kate Winslet (Titanic
) and Melanie Lynskey create two sympathetic and yet uncomfortably eerie characters, in riveting portrayals. Featuring some startling and unique moments of visual brilliance as well as a disturbing love story between the two girls, Heavenly Creatures
is at once both unsettling and beautiful to behold. --Robert Lane