Heavenly Creatures [1994]

A starkly original film-going experience based on a true life story, this film from New Zealand director Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) is a stirring drama that offers up the unexpected. The story concerns two girls, outcasts who become best friends, whose bizarre fantasy life becomes more intense as their bond becomes increasingly more obsessive. When the mother of one of the girls tries to intervene and split the girls apart, they kill her and stand trial for murder in what is to this day still a celebrated and controversial case. Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Melanie Lynskey create two sympathetic and yet uncomfortably eerie characters in riveting portrayals. Featuring some startling and unique moments of visual brilliance as well as a disturbing love story between the two girls, Heavenly Creatures is at once both unsettling and beautiful to behold. --Robert Lane

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