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Heavenly Creatures

Year: 1994
Production Co: Fontana Productions
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Peter Jackson/Frances Walsh
Cast: Kate Winslet, Melanie Lynskey
Peter Jackson's calling card in Hollywood, and all the proof he needed that he could handle both drama and effects, the likes of which blew the world away in the Rings trilogy.

It's based on the true story of two young girls in rural New Zealand in the 1950s, Pauline (Lynskey, who deserves a much bigger profile than she has) and Juliet (Winslet, in her breakout role).

Meeting at boarding school, they fall into a friendship based on a fantasy life so intense only they can understand it. Their worried elders and betters try to separate them, concerned the whole thing is unnatural, maybe even homosexual.

To foil plans to drag them apart, the two resolve to murder Pauline's mother, carrying out the grisly act in the final scenes.

But rather than a murder mystery, the film is about Pauline and Juliet's inner lives; one nobody else can understand but which causes nothing but havoc and heartache around them.

Jackson's visuals are wonderfully inventive, created b the fledgling Weta Digital that would storm the world on the back of Tolkein a couple of years later.

The turning point of a major talent, and an inspiration to us all who thought we might like to be film directors when we grew up.

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