Thursday, June 7, 2007

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Directed by Peter Jackson. Starring Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey.

Jackson is best known for his ambitious Lord of the Rings films, but he made an even greater impression on me with this earlier work. Inspired by a real-life murder case, the film stars Winslet and Lynskey as Juliet and Paulina, two high school girls who become the closest of friends. Each feeds the other's love for romantic and bloody fantasies, and as we see the film through Paulina's eyes we also observe how her relationship with Juliet has caused her fantasies and reality to co-mingle, until the girls end up killing Paulina's mother. The film, however, is hardly depressing, but intoxicating, as the immediacy of Jackson's style ensnares the audience in the girls' fantasy world, even as we dread what will happen next- which makes the film's final events all that much sadder.

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