Heavenly Creatures [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson

Heavenly Creatures [Blu-Ray] Peter Jackson
Heavenly Creatures marked somewhat of a breakthrough for an abundance of cinematic works and talent since its humble debut in 1994, noted mostly as a little seen, critically praised gem that boasted the feature film debut of Kate Winslet, who later became a household name with Sense & Sensibility and Titanic. While this was the context for the film at the time – being years before The Lord of the Rings trilogy hit theatres – it also demonstrated that New Zealand director Peter Jackson was capable of mature and accomplished work beyond shit-eating puppets and oedipally exacerbated flesh-eating parasites. Known for his creative use of low budget visual effects and depiction of exaggerated, cartoonish realities, he managed to channel his off-kilter vision – swooping camera work, candid angles and fantastical worlds – into the subjective eye of youthful passion, giving clarity and life to the insular perspective of an emotionally turbulent teenage girl without reducing her external reality to mere caricature. Based on the true story of Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey), a socially awkward teen recluse in '50s New Zealand, who befriended manic and impassioned British transfer student Juliet Hulme (Winslet), forming an intense, Sapphic relationship, this remarkably detailed drama attempts to bring their internal reality to life, leading up to their murdering of Pauline's mother, Honora (Sarah Peirse), in a misguided effort to keep from being separated. Using choice visual effects to depict a fantasy kingdom of clay figures to represent the increasingly erratic relationship dynamic of the two girls – moving from jovial to angry to hedonistic to downright sinister – Jackson mirrors the intensity of their internal connection with the growing concerns of their parents, terrified by the prospect of homosexuality and social disconnect. It's this balance of the external with the internal that makes the inevitable "crashing down" of idealized passion that much more devastating and challenging, acknowledging the beauty of it, but noting its dangerous solipsism. Beyond being a unique and thoughtful work for its time, showcasing new talents behind and in front of the camera, Heavenly Creatures managed to make accessible the still controversial subject of homosexuality. While it adhered to the dread of a difference template by implying lesbian monstrosity, it had the heart to humanize the inherent universal feelings at hand. Unfortunately, this Blu-Ray release has no supplemental materials and boasts only the 108-minute "Uncut" version of the film, but it's still a nice HD transfer of an exceptional film. (Alliance)