Heavenly Creatures (Blu-ray)
Before THE LORD OF THE RINGS, a relatively unknown horror director by the name of Peter Jackson made a compelling yet disturbing film about two young girls obsessive friendship.
Based on a true story, HEAVENLY CREATURES follows Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliette Hume (Kate Winslet), two fifteen year old girls living in New Zealand during the 1950’s. As slight outcasts in school the girls discover each other like soul mates sharing the same love for art, literature and music. These kindred spirits live wildly in their imagination they call the realm of Boronvia that only a few people can access through their minds. As each of their parents become increasingly concerned of their daughters oddly close behavior, the girls naturally resent and resist the gradual separation attempt. The relationship starts off innocently enough but progressively walks the line of danger before crossing it with a plot to kill Pauline’s mother in hopes to stay together forever.
Melanie Lynskey (TWO AND HALF MEN, UP IN THE AIR, WIN WIN) and Oscar winner Kate Winslet (TITANIC, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, THE READER) are nothing short of immaculate. These young girls are the leads in this very adult themed film and more than handle the task. Rarely does one see such an achievement at such a young age. They are mature, yet playful in only a way that someone fully aware of their actions could be.
Jackson finds a way to tell a story that provides sympathy for all of the characters involved. Blurring the line on why a child behaves the way he or she does between environment, parenting or just simply being crazy, HEAVENLY CREATURES succeeds where other films like the more recent WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN fails. The style in which the story is told feels very natural as though this could be anyone’s child. One can even place themselves in these free spirits and the joys of having a best friend to whom to share all your secrets.
The art direction and cinematography paint a beautiful world when the girls are together but quickly goes bleak when the story is on them alone. As an audience member, this tactic helps us identify with the feelings of our heroines. The realm of Boronvia that lives within the girl’s imagination is especially delightful while simultaneously creepy. Wonderfully created by the costume and makeup team, the adult sized clay made servants within this imaginary kingdom are both frightful and funny.
Acutely observant, HEAVENLY CREATURES reveals the events through the young girls perception. Glossing over Pauline’s sexuality with an older boy and Juliette’s terminal illness and dwelling over the far more dramatic event in their eyes of not being able to see one another. Through their eyes everything appears innocent enough until their actions come to a devastating final blow bringing everyone back to a haunting reality.
Video: (1080P High Definition 2.35:1) The picture looks very good especially for an older transfer.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound did its duty well.
It’s always very disappointing when a Blu-ray is release without any special features. It would have been nice to hear a little something from Mr. Peter Jackson.