Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Directed by:
Peter Jackson
Written by: Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison, Simon O'Connor, Jed Brophy, Peter Elliott

The true story of two girls (one of whom grew up to be the mystery writer, Anne Perry) living in New Zealand in the '50s who invent a sort of fantasy world and become pretty much detached from reality. Their parents decide that their slightly homosexual relationship is unhealthy, and that it would be best to separate them. This prompts the girls to murder the mother of one of them.

The movie is actually surprisingly restrained considering a) that it's about murder (it isn't really, it just sort of seems that way when you read the box) and b) it's made by Peter Jackson. Don't get me wrong, I dig Mr. Jackson as much as the next person, but he does have a real appreciation for the more disgusting aspects of life (of course, Fran Walsh co-writes all of his movies, so maybe it's her...)

Anywho, this was the first film role for both Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey, both of whom were ridiculously good. It's interesting to me that Winslet became a big star, and though Lynskey's been in a crapload of stuff, she still remains relatively unknown (that is to say, I hadn't heard too much about her outside of this movie). Oh well.

Also featured in the movie is the beautiful New Zealand landscape. I'd love to go to New Zealand - it seems like a weird place. One of those weirdo islands, you know? Genetic isolation and that. I'll put it on the list of places I want to go when I grow up (emotionally speaking).

But yeah, it was a beautiful flick, despite the slightly disturbing elements - the murder itself, however horrific, was presented in a very tasteful way.

And it's just so realistic - I mean, the characters live in their heads, and there's a sort of (loathe as I am to use this word) surreal quality, but it really captures the emotional states of the characters very well (I'm sort of slipping into some kind of film speak and I'm not sure what I'm talking about anymore...). I'm saying, I was that age fairly recently and that's what it feels like. I can identify with the characters because I understand what it's like to be a fourteen year old girl with an infatuation. I never took it that far, of course (or did I...?), but I can sympathize.


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