HEAVENLY CREATURES [1994] movie review

November 20, 2011 · Print This Article

I am glad I mostly was unaware that HEAVENLY CREATURES was based on a true story because it helped me to just think this could only happen in a movie, except it did not. If I had two describe HEAVENLY in two words they would be: dark whimsy. Two high school girls in New Zealand become fast friends sharing a vivid imaginary world they flesh out in writing, play acting and waking dreams. The only thing that could ruin it is if they were ever to be separated. They were to be.

Juliet moves from England and befriends loner Pauline as they share a love of the arts, especially the same opera singer. Kate Winslet in her first feature film role is surprisingly recognizable as she portrays Juliet as a 14-year old girl with a knack for being innocently pompous showing off her French language skills or her in depth world view. Pauline is totally mesmerized by her and cannot suffer for them to be apart.


Their parents start to feel such a relationship is unhealthy and “unwholesome” even. Juliet is to be sent to South Africa. Pauline prepares to do anything that is necessary to go along with Juliet, even murder.


Their fantasy world is creepy and propagated by clay avatars for their favorite Hollywood stars who are mostly referred to with pronouns.


Knowing the movie was based on at true story would have helped me, however, accept the gruesome ending. To know that really happened and was not just a gratuitous creation by director Peter Jackson would not have allowed me to not cover my eyes as it played out, but at least it would have not seemed so preposterous.


I cannot say I have ever seen another movie really even similar to HEAVENLY CREATURES, which just proves that great stories can come right from real life.


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