Wednesday, April 20, 2016

882. Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures
Directed by Peter Jackson

It is strange that a film about such a grisly murder can actually turn out to be incredibly beautiful.  I am not sure if that is good thing or not.  In any case, it was exciting to see another Peter Jackson movie, as I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan.

Pauline and Juliet share an intense friendship.  Together they create a fantasy kingdom, Borovnia,  which serves as a backdrop to the stories they write and hope to publish.  Their parents become concerned by the possible homosexual nature of their relationship and attempt to separate them.  The girls...uh...take their revenge.

Apparently, the Parker-Hulme murder was quite the cause celebre, although I hadn't heard of the case before viewing this film.  Obviously, Jackson wanted to create a film that explored the minds of the girls, rather than the more monstrous aspects of the story.  It was certainly an interesting approach that was both chilling and, at times, gorgeous.  Still, I think we were supposed to sympathize with the girls more than I did.  I found them to be selfish, bratty, and rather stupid.

Great performances and great directing.  I know hindsight is 20/20 but it is easy to detect Winslet's and Jackson's star power, even in 1994.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

When asked at the trial if the two had had sex, Juliet replied "how can we have sex? We are both girls."

175 girls auditioned for the role of Juliet.


  1. Regrettably I agree that the girls are "selfish, bratty, and rather stupid", but ... I still maintained a huge amount of sympathy for them as excluded and isolated and subjected to persecution. Parents and officialdom gave them a bad time.
    That said .. what the heck were the parent's supposed to do? Thinks were starting to get a bit obsessive and weird, but expressions like 'using a sledgehammer to crack a but' seem to spring to mind.

    1. It's so strange that those women are now ordinary members of society. Kind of freaky actually.

  2. Well... I'm going to beg to differ on that.. I find it pleasing that both they and society managed to put it behind them, and they could become 'normal' members of society. It's redemptive ..and shows that they weren't 'evil' or bonkers .. Maybe, as we said, 'bratty', but hey, isn't that really just another way of saying 'immature'..

    1. I just think it's kind of weird that one is a mystery writer. I have never read her books but it would be creepy knowing how um...informed she is on the subject. Also this wasn't an ordinary crime. Beating a woman to death kind of goes beyond immaturity

  3. Point taken, but don't you think it's good that she can now be someone who is adding to the world rather than detracting from it? That someone can do something wrong, but change, realise the wrong, and be 'forgiven' by us all. Otherwise .. what? Lifetime incarceration?

  4. Yes I generally believe in rehabilitation over punishment (if that doesn't make me sound too A Clockwork Orange-y). But just specifically this crime, the fact that they hit this woman with a brick forty five times seems particularly cold blooded.