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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 8 August 2017
needed a new copy and this plays fine.
I find this film still moves me. As for the homosexuality (I know it can't be my daughter!) its all Paul's fault. Those words are infuriating to hear and It feels as if I have been sucker-punched every time I hear it. Both children felt abandon by their mothers and suffered for it, NOT having your mother around for ages while in hospitable, you stop trusting them. Fathers are heroes, Mothers are evil.
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on 7 June 2013
I really love this film - it's so interesting to watch the characters developing as the story unfolds. Kate Winslet is absolutely fantastic in this, and deserves everything the film gave her as a platform. It's a shame Melanie Lynskey's career didn't take off too really, as she is also pretty brilliant I think! Anyway, well worth a watch. Compelling, beautiful, innocence at it's most tragic.
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on 30 October 2017
Good story. Love Jackson’s early stuff.
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on 30 March 2015
Good quality played well and can it post fast. And packaging was good also
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on 12 January 2015
good quality decent story line value for money
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on 24 June 2015
very happy
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on 7 June 2017
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on 20 October 2015
Well, I wrote a review of Joanne Drayton's book 'The Search for Anne Perry', having bought that on Amazon too and read it, so it was kind of obvious this DVD would turn up in my reviews list sooner or later. I first saw this when it was released some 21 years ago, and oh, how time flies, can it really be 21 years ago? Anyway, I no longer had my original copy so I decided to buy the region 1 edition since it is uncut, flashed across the cover is 'The Uncut Version' and I just couldn't resist the temptation. It does contain some scenes that in my opinion would have best been left out anyway, so I was not missing anything if I had bought the region 2 version. Watching it 21 years on it Kate Winslet seems so young and innocent, but it was her first movie. I am not going into the theme of the film, it is based on the true crime story that gripped New Zealand, and indeed most of the world in 1954, but it is well known so let's leave it at that. Mario Lanza does sound so much better somehow than my recollection of him when he would forever be playing on the radio. Anyway, the film is imaginative and enchanting but deeply sad and I am going to leave it at that.
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VINE VOICEon 11 December 2003
For those who wondered how the director of "Bad Taste" and "Brain Dead" got to direct "The Lord of the Rings," this 1994 film from director Peter Jackson supplies the answer. In 1954 two teenage girls brutally murdered one of the their mothers in what must be the most sensational murder in New Zealand history. "Heavenly Creatures" tells the strange story of these two girls and their unique relationship. If you think this is just a reality based splatter flick, then you are going to be much more than surprised and impressed by what Jackson has accomplished.
Pauline Rieper (Melanie Lynskey) is a simple and rather dull young girl who is totally dazzled when Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) enters her life. Juliet is impressed as well, because Pauline has a scar on her leg from an operation. Juliet declares that: "All the best people have had chest and bone disease! It's all frightfully romantic!" Eventually both the romance and the frightfullness of it all reaches a tragic conclusion. In their all consuming friendship Juliet and Pauline create a "Fourth World," better than heaven (because it has no Christians), inhabited by the clay figures they have fashioned to represents their friends and where the music of Mario Lanza, the greatest tenor on earth, is always in the air.
Jackson brings this fantasy world alive, which allows him to explore the pivotal theme of juxtaposition throughout the film. This comes into play most notably at the beginning and ending of "Heavenly Clouds." Jackson begins with a 1950s newsreel about Christchurch, New Zealand, which is interrupted by the appearance of the two screaming and bloodied girls, thereby symbolizing the way this sensational case shocked the nation. Even more effective is the film's conclusion, where the murder is inter-cut with what the girls think will happen if they do not find this way of saving themselves.
With any film based on historical events there are omissions, alterations, substitutions, and the like, and "Heavenly Creatures" is no different. On the plus side of the ledger Jackson attempted an almost morbid verisimilitude. Almost all of the locations used for filming were the real locations where events occurred, including the tea shop where Honora Parker ate her last meal, which was torn down a few days after the shooting ended. However, the cast and crew found the actual murder scene uncomfortable and moved further down the path. All of the journal voice-overs come directly from Pauline's diary, as are the characters in the girls' make-believe world. However, since the two filled up fifteen notebooks and hundreds of letters devoted to their fantasies, the movie actually underplays these elements.
However, having familiarized myself somewhat with the actual "facts" of the case, and the recollections of the woman one of the girls grew up to be, the key point of dispute is the motive. But if Jackson is guilty of becoming fixated on the idea that these two young girl committed a murder because they could not bear to be separated and have their fantasy world unravel, then he can be hardly faulted for finding that a fascinating interpretation of the evidence (the girls never testified or were examined in court, but Pauline's diary was seen as providing all the answers). More importantly, Jackson does not seem guilty of taking liberties, merely with offering a valid interpretation of the evidence. For example, the murder sequence greatly reduces the number of blows, but the effect is still horrific, so it seems trivial to complain about any inaccuracy.
From an artistic standpoint his interpretation is more than justified, especially at the end. In addition to the information we receive between the final scene and the closing credits that tells what happened to Pauline and Juliet, Marzio Lanza sings "You'll Never Walk Alone," which is as perfect a choice of a song to play at the end of a film as you will ever hear, forcefully underscoring the film's thesis. Jackson says this is "a murder story about love, a murder story with no villains," and it is hard to argue with this idea after watching his film.
"Heavenly Creatures" received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Jackson and Frances Walsh. The film won every award for which it was nominated in the New Zealand Film and TV Awards, including Best Actress for Lynskey and Best Foreign Performer for Winslet (both of whom were perfectly suited for those roles), and earned film festival awards in Venice and Toronto. This is a striking and unforgettable film, both creative and thoughtful. Those who are drawn to it because it was directed by Peter Jackson might be shocked by the subject matter, but they will not be disappointed with the results.
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on 15 May 2002
Director Peter Jackson, in time, may well become best known for his 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy- a generic departure to say the least from 'Bad Taste' (1987), 'Braindead' (1992), and this- 'Heavenly Creatures' (1994)- his film based on the true story of two girls' intense friendship in 1950s New Zealand that culminates in murder. The two leads, (here) both new to the screen- particularly Melanie Lynskey as Pauline Parker- are remarkable as the two teenagers whose lives are so frequently merely blurred versions of reality. Visually arresting. Psychologically, very, very, frightening. Compelling and brilliant.
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