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Heavenly Creatures [Blu-ray]

243 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From acclaimed director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) comes a true-life story of the shocking crime that stunned a nation. When circumstances bring together two imaginative teenage schoolgirls, they quickly form an unwavering bond, creating a fantasy world that only they can share. But then their parents become disturbed by the intensity of the friendship, and threaten to keep them apart. In retaliation, the girls vow to stay together, devising a secret plan that leads to shocking consequences. Thrilling and provocative, HEAVENLY CREATURES stars Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet in her screen debut.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kate Winslet, Melanie Lynskey, Sarah Peirse, Jed Brophy, Diana Kent
  • Directors: Peter Jackson
  • Writers: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005Q4CKI0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,994 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 164 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 11, 2003
Format: DVD
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.
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Emme Wellington on March 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
'Heavenly Creatures' is the true story of two school girls in Christchurch, New Zealand who murder one of their mothers when the two families plan to separate them.
Juliet Hulme and Pauline Rieper (later revealed in the trial to be Pauline Parker, as her parents never married) quickly become best friends when Juliet's family moves to Christchurch in 1952. Pauline's family is working class; Juliet is a high-class girl. They're both lonely and creative. Their friendship becomes more obsessive and surreal every day, as they mix reality and fantasy: They create a kingdom called Borovnia, where bloodspill is common and Mario Lanza and Orson Welles make appearances. It is to this world they retreat when they wish to forget the upsets and pains of real life. Juliet and Pauline's parents soon enough become the enemies of the girls, when they plan to separate the girls. Juliet and Pauline will do anything to stay together, Pauline cooks up the idea of getting her own mother out of the way, and you can guess where it goes from there (I won't give away any more of the plot).
The acting in this film is first-rate and marvelous. Kate Winslet, as always, is elegant and gorgeous. Melanie Lynskey is wonderful as Pauline; her body language and mannerisms add much to the story. In the space of only one and a half hours, you feel as if you know Juliet and Pauline as well as they know each other.
(It should be noted that Juliet is now an author, working under the name of Anne Perry. Pauline is now running a children's riding school in England and goes by the name of Hilary Nathan. There are many informative sites on the internet about both the film and the real life events. If you are interested in seeing them, drop me an email at and I'll gladly send you the URLs.)
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2003
Format: DVD
"How can these heavenly creatures be real?" asks Pauline in one scene of "Heavenly Creatures," the exquisite and horrifying docudrama of a real-life murder in New Zealand. Peter Jackson uses spectacular special effect, great actors, and outstanding direction to show us how these heavenly creatures became monsters.

In 1952, Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) is a loner at her proper New Zealand school, until the day Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) arrives -- an intelligent, witty, daring girl who appeals to Pauline. They share a love of the arts, writing, sculpting, drawing, fantasy, and tenor Mario Lanza. Soon the two of them are nearly inseparable, spinning their fantastical tales of castles, knights, unicorns and beautiful ladies. (The foremost ladies, Deborah and Gina, are modelled on themselves) Even Juliet's four month stint in the hospital doesn't separate the girls through their letters and shared fantasies. But soon Juliet's father (Clive Merrison) becomes concerned that their close friendship is "unhealthy." It is, but not just in the way he thinks.

The two girls' emotional attachment has turned incredibly intense, so that they barely think of anyone but each other, and the fantasy stories begin to seep into reality for them . Pauline drops out of school and stops talking to her parents; Juliet learns that her mother is sleeping with one of her clients, and that her parents are divorcing. Now she's being sent to South Africa, and there is no telling when she will see Pauline again. Unless they do something about their parents so that they can stay together... such as murder.

Peter Jackson kicks off "Heavenly Creatures" by emphasizing what a beautiful, in most ways peaceful country (via a cheesy 1950s documentary).
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