Production year 1994
Written by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Starring Kate Winslet, Melanie Lynskey,
Sarah Peirse and Clive Merrison
Directed by Peter Jackson
This strange, highly original and visually mesmerising coming of age drama is based on a bizarre true life story about two schoolgirls in New Zealand whose obsession with each other causes them to commit murder.
Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey play Juliet and Pauline, two teenagers growing up in the stultifying surroundings of 1950s Christchurch whose intense friendship leads them to create a fantasy life that soon becomes more real than the world around them. The bond between them becomes a sexual one and when Juliet is faced with having to move away they plot to kill Pauline’s mother.
Heavenly Creatures was directed by Peter Jackson who was to achieve later fame and fortune with the hugely successful Lord of the Rings trilogy. Co-written by his wife Fran Walsh the film is imbued with a highly distinctive style - particularly in the sequences depicting the girls’ fantasy world Borovnia. The performances are uniformly excellent – this was the film that would launch Winslet on to the international stage - only three years later she was cast as Rose in Titanic.