Top positive review
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based on a true crime story
on December 21, 2016
Saw this disturbing yet wildly emotional, imaginative and engrossing 1994 film back in the 90's, and until recently, I never thought I could bear to watch it again due to the vile subject matter of matricide. It's amazingly well-done and the two young leads are incredible actresses. It's directed by Peter Jackson who would go on to do Lord of the Rings. Really. It's one of the better F/F films in our genre out there-- I can't stress this enough.
This is based on a true-crime story which goes down in New Zealand in 1954. It follows the obsessively needy and close friendship of teenager Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet) and her best friend Pauline Rieper/Parker (Melanie Lynskey) who brutally murder Pauline's mother when she tries to keep them apart.
The girls are seemingly opposites. Juliet is the beautiful and charming daughter of a brilliant physicist/university rector and an attractive mother who does social work. Pauline is the angry daughter of a fishmonger and a mother who runs a boarding house out of their home. The girls initially bond in school via their shared rebellious natures and the health issues that set them apart from others. Soon enough, their vivid imaginations and writing pursuits isolate them into their own private world.
Having read a bit of the case outside of what this movie covers, the girls are convicted and serve less than 6 yrs in separate prisons... then are given new identities and passports upon their release. Pauline would go on to become an anonymous recluse as Hilary Nathan, but Juliet Hulme would go on to become Anne Perry... international bestselling author of crime fiction!
Bizarre and fascinating story. I'm glad I decided to see it again... it's as good as ever. Loved revisiting such a young and talented Kate Winslet!!! Recommended.