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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.Read more ›
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 email@example.com and I'll gladly send you the URLs.)
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heavenly creatures is by far one of my favorite movies. What intrigues me the most is that this movie is based off of real people.Published 26 days ago by Gabrielle Disbrow
This film, about which I had never known existed until very recently, brought me to a place...a space of profound humility. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Katherine Graham
This is a chilling portrayal of two young girls obsessive relationship and their misguided need for fantasy to escape the suppression of their parents and 1950s homophobic... Read morePublished 2 months ago by KES
I bought this after reading a biography on Anne Perry. So I had a special interest in seeing this movie.Published 2 months ago by Suzanne M. Schneider
If you are looking for a more crime oriented biography piece, skip it. Based on a teenage girl's diary entries, it is largely an imaginary reconstruction of the incident.Published 3 months ago by Carolyn Evans
Not into describing the movie, that's what watching it is for. Especially with art it's incredibly frustrating to read reviews from wannabe critics lacking all artistic merit. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Super Jet Ski Fun Monkeys
I read the books "Searching for Anne Perry" and "Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century" and I thought these books were insightful and thoughtfully written. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Linda Stillman
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|2011 dvd: the uncut version? [asin: b004sip86q]||
Yeah, I just saw the "uncut" version on Region 1 DVD nearing 2 hours and that's a lie. The topless shot is missing, its bottom-framed out.
Its not uncut; quite the contrary.
Jun 5, 2015 by Maximilian Y. Schmid | See all 3 posts
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