Heavenly Creatures | Chicago Reader

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1994

Thriller
New Zealand writer-director Peter Jackson directed this cartoonish 1994 melodrama based on the real-life "Parker-Hulme affair," in which two passionately interconnected and obsessive New Zealand teenage girls killed one of their mothers in 1952. Jackson tries to enter as well as celebrate the collective consciousness of the heroines, and though the results are often visually striking, they quickly become glib and mechanical as the lurching zooms and intercut fantasy motifs are repeatedly trotted out like favorite routines. Unlike the campy excess of Jackson's earlier Dead Alive, this kind of deliberate overkill—which extends to the broad caricatures of the girls' families as well as the girls' feverish fantasy life—ultimately points toward a dearth of ideas rather than a surfeit, though the story remains sufficiently interesting and troubling to hold one's attention. With Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, and Sarah Peirse. R, 99 min.
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Frances Walsh and Peter Jackson
Producer: Hanno Huth and Jim Booth
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Kate Winslet, Sarah Peirse, Diana Kent, Clive Merrison and Simon O'Connor

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