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Heavenly Creatures

Heavenly Creatures is a 1994 New Zealand psychological thriller directed by Peter Jackson, from a screenplay he co-wrote with his partner, Fran Walsh, and starring Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet in their feature film debuts, with supporting roles by Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison, and Simon O'Connor. Based on the notorious 1954 Parker–Hulme murder case in Christchurch, New Zealand, the film focuses on the relationship between two teenage girls—Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme—which culminates in the murder of Parker's mother. The events of the film span the period from their meeting in 1952 to the murder in 1954.

Plot

In 1952 Christchurch, New Zealand, a 14-year-old girl from a working-class family, Pauline Parker (Lynskey), befriends the more affluent English 13-year-old Juliet Hulme (Winslet) when Juliet transfers to Pauline's school. They bond over a shared history of severe childhood disease and isolating hospitalizations, and over time develop an intense friendship. Pauline admires Juliet's outspoken arrogance and beauty. Together they paint, write stories, make plasticine figurines, and eventually create a fantasy kingdom called Borovnia. It is the setting of the adventure novels they write together, which they hope to have published and eventually made into films in Hollywood. Over time it begins to be as real to them as the real world. Pauline's relationship with her mother Honora becomes increasingly hostile and the two fight constantly. This angry atmosphere is in contrast to the peaceful intellectual life Juliet shares with her family. Pauline spends most of her time at the Hulmes', where she feels accepted. Juliet introduces Pauline to the idea of "the Fourth World", a Heaven without Christians where music and art are celebrated. Juliet believes she will go there when she dies. Certain actors and musicians have the status of saints in this afterlife, such as singer Mario Lanza, whom both girls are obsessed with.

Awards