Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Genre: Fantasy Crime Drama Romance Thriller (UK, Germany, New Zealand)
Starring: Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland; Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind), Melanie Lynskey (Detroit Rock City; Coyote Ugly)
Directed By: Peter Jackson (Meet The Feebles; Lord of the Rings)
Overview: When the parents of a couple of inseparable friends decide to split them up, they come up with their own plan to stay together. Based on the true events of the lives of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker.
Acting: Kate Winslet plays an overdramatic prissy little queen. I'm sure this is exactly the way the character was, so I suppose she played the part perfectly. Melanie Lynskey plays this angst-riddled chubby brooding girl overzealously, but again I'm sure the actress did exactly what Jackson told them to do. I blame him for these two. All the secondary characters were really well played, it's too bad the story was about people I kind of didn't care about.
Cinematography: The old school Peter Jackson from the days of Bad Taste and Dead Alive is still really apparent here. His shaky and not very professional camerawork is obvious from time to time and for as much as the original moments were interesting, like their fantasy world filled with all those clay people, there really weren't enough of those moments to offset the typical shot of an old house with people in it.
Script: Maybe it's my demographic again. The dialogue was a lot of imagination and storytelling, and the story quotes paragraphs from the real Pauline Parker Diary, which is a good enough gimmick, but I didn't find any particularly interesting lines or tales in any part of the film. Standard fare.
Plot: The story starts with two girls running around screaming their heads off, covered in blood, and the next 90 minutes is us building up to that point, learning about a friendship between two girls rife with fantastical imaginings. It reminded me of Virgin Suicides a little, with the whole misunderstood youth against the will of their parents. I won't ruin the end, but when it came I thought, "That's it?"
Mood: For as much as Mario Lanza might be this great dreamy Italian baritone / Tenor whatever, his music is lame. The overall themes were those of fantasy but because there were not nearly enough scenes where we delved into the mystical world of these two girls, I felt let down. Jackson could have gone far more into the realm of these girls, and his film choices of late have clearly been rich in the otherworldly, but this one was severely lacking. If they'd done more, this would have been much cooler.
Overall Rating: 66% (Pretty Secular if You Ask Me)
Aftertaste: This is one of these Must See films I heard about. If you ask me, Peter Jackson, with this film, made his big break into mainstream film. If he'd have stayed with the cult gore flick, I'd have much preferred it, but I guess King Kong and Lord of the Rings is better in the end, appealing to more people. I suppose I must sacrifice knee-deep rivers of latex and blood for the greater good.