Movie Review – Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creaturesby William Eamon Workman

If you are LGBT and also happen to have an interest in true crime then there couldn’t be a better movie for you than Heavenly Creatures.  This movie is based on the story of two young girls whose love for each other and contempt for everyone else becomes a deadly mix for an unsuspecting victim.

Co-written by Fran Walsh and director Peter Jackson, the movie carries us away into the fantasy world in which these girls lived.  Pauline Parker, played by Melanie Lynskey, and Juliet Hulme, portrayed by Kate Winslet, are intelligent and creative yet wildly unpopular.  They connect over similar traumas of childhood illness and develop a friendship that becomes all absorbing.  As their lives at home become increasingly stressful, they delve deeper into their own collective imagination and live predominantly in the world that they created for their books.  As their parents become ever more concerned, measures taken to protect the girls end up with tragic consequences.

Up to this film, Peter Jackson was known for horror-comedies so this was a very different type of film for him.  He proved himself worthy of the task by showing us the fantasy without distorting the facts.  The girls also should be applauded for their incredible performances for this was the debut film for both.  It’s obvious that they transcend their roles as actresses to fully embody the minds of the characters.  They are stunning in scene after scene, giving raw emotion that is both captivating and eerie.  The costume designer, Ngila Dickson, was also working at the top of her game to bring us not only a period piece but also what could be loosely described as life size claymation.

The creative attention to detail and dedication to all parts of the production of this movie take it two steps above your average Netflix experience.  I will admit, immediately after watching this film I wasn’t sure how I felt about it or how it should be rated.  I was so disturbed by it that I almost didn’t like the film.  However, I soon realized that being disturbed was half the point and in that the film succeeded completely.  Since it is a winning success of creativity, plot, and acting as well I now believe this film deserves five gold stars.  With that kind of rating, this is a must see!

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