Heavenly Creatures is a movie that appeals to and ultimately betrays such sensibilities. This 1994 film was co-written and directed by Peter Jackson. It marks a rough midpoint between gore marathons like Braindead and the much more refined Lord of the Rings. Heavenly Creatures is based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two 14-15 year-olds in 1950s New Zealand. Kate Winslet (as Juliet), although of slightly lesser importance in the script, definitely steals the thunder from Melanie Lynskey (as Pauline). Even if her character is reprehensible, Winslet plays her role brilliantly. For Lynskey the opposite is true: Pauline is a character worthy of empathy, but Lynskey's horrible acting definitely precludes such feelings. My true contention with the movie lies in its directorial slant. It seems the vast majority of moviegoers empathize with the two protagonists. Some people even call this movie their favourite. A "gorgeous" work. However, what little sympathy anyone could carry for these two girls, who spend most of their time elaborating their fantasy world, is obliterated in the film's final, gut-wrenching scene. Many people (at IMDB, anyways) simply cannot bear to watch this scene, and I agree it seems a little incongruous with the rest of the film. Peter Jackson may skew the character development to increase his movie's shock value, or perhaps the fantasy world he constructs for the girls is simply too enthalling to realize just how psychopathic they are. If he set out to justify or even properly explain the actions of these two girls, he falls short of the mark - or he vastly overshoots it. It all depends on if Peter Jackson was trying to mold his audience into little Juliets and Paulines and suddenly pull the rug out from under their fantasy world, or if he simply wanted to warp any little kids who accidentally saw his movie. Until I see more of his films, either possibility is entirely plausible. Nonetheless, Heavenly Creatures still comes as recommended viewing. If you are a puerile girl who loves insanity, fantasy worlds, or crap like Labyrinth, you'll probably love this movie, and sit there bawling with Juliet the simp. If you're a guy, you will probably hate this movie for its overabundance of female insanity, but I would call such hatred healthy - therapeutic, even. This movie is what you should watch instead of beating your wife. And everyone who hates traditional- or British-style society (with emphasis on the 50s, medicine, school, and therapy) will feel a little vindicated by Peter Jackson's convincing setting." />
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Heavenly Creatures

Posted 24 June 2003, 9.19 pm by Acheron

I am worried this so-called review may turn into some horribly misogynist rant about the teenage mindset that worships Labryrinth and unicorns simultaneously, as Heavenly Creatures is a movie that appeals to and ultimately betrays such sensibilities.

This 1994 film was co-written and directed by Peter Jackson. It marks a rough midpoint between gore marathons like Braindead and the much more refined Lord of the Rings. Heavenly Creatures is based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two 14-15 year-olds in 1950s New Zealand. Kate Winslet (as Juliet), although of slightly lesser importance in the script, definitely steals the thunder from Melanie Lynskey (as Pauline). Even if her character is reprehensible, Winslet plays her role brilliantly. For Lynskey the opposite is true: Pauline is a character worthy of empathy, but Lynskey's horrible acting definitely precludes such feelings.

My true contention with the movie lies in its directorial slant. It seems the vast majority of moviegoers empathize with the two protagonists. Some people even call this movie their favourite. A "gorgeous" work. However, what little sympathy anyone could carry for these two girls, who spend most of their time elaborating their fantasy world, is obliterated in the film's final, gut-wrenching scene. Many people (at IMDB, anyways) simply cannot bear to watch this scene, and I agree it seems a little incongruous with the rest of the film. Peter Jackson may skew the character development to increase his movie's shock value, or perhaps the fantasy world he constructs for the girls is simply too enthalling to realize just how psychopathic they are. If he set out to justify or even properly explain the actions of these two girls, he falls short of the mark - or he vastly overshoots it. It all depends on if Peter Jackson was trying to mold his audience into little Juliets and Paulines and suddenly pull the rug out from under their fantasy world, or if he simply wanted to warp any little kids who accidentally saw his movie. Until I see more of his films, either possibility is entirely plausible.

Nonetheless, Heavenly Creatures still comes as recommended viewing. If you are a puerile girl who loves insanity, fantasy worlds, or crap like Labyrinth, you'll probably love this movie, and sit there bawling with Juliet the simp. If you're a guy, you will probably hate this movie for its overabundance of female insanity, but I would call such hatred healthy - therapeutic, even. This movie is what you should watch instead of beating your wife. And everyone who hates traditional- or British-style society (with emphasis on the 50s, medicine, school, and therapy) will feel a little vindicated by Peter Jackson's convincing setting.

Buy it at amazon
Acheron
on 25 June 2003, 7.15 am
It stripped my line breaks when I edited it. Even "br" tags. Mommy, mommy! Wah! Wah!


Alexander
on 26 June 2003, 7.40 am
Oh dear. I should probably fix that.


PrincessAngelina
on 28 June 2003, 5.18 am
I'm not sure I understand your comparison between Heavenly Creatures and The Labyrinth... If you are going to compare it to another movie, you should compare it a movie like Fun... or any other movie that is about "innocent" girls doing horrible and unthinkable things. In fact, while we watched Heavenly Creatures, I couldn't help thinking back to Fun. Maybe the writers stole the idea from Juliet and Pauline's story. I dunno. Maybe girls go on killing sprees all the time.


PrincessAngelina
on 28 June 2003, 5.21 am
Btw, stop dissing the Labyrinth. Not all girls that like the Labyrinth kill their mothers. What the fuck is wrong with you?


g-dub
on 28 June 2003, 5.24 am
The Labrynth wasn't crap at all! You can tell just by the size of Bowie's wang!


Alexander
on 28 June 2003, 12.43 pm
The 'Bowies wang' argument is a strong one.


The_Roach
on 30 June 2003, 8.10 am
Or, as he called it, "The Lance". Bowie's wang or not, Labyrinth really is toss. I can see a comparison here in the treatment of the female lead. I love Jennifer Connely... now. Back in the 80's, she played one whiny bitch part that seared itself into my memory for well over a decade. Either way, Heavenly Creatures makes me think of Ghost World, which was shit also.


marilee
on 30 June 2003, 8.43 am
Funny, Ghost World is one of Aaron's favourite movies...


news-
on 4 August 2004, 7.20 am


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