Heavenly Creatures
















Heavenly Creatures marked the film debut of Kate and Melanie Lynskey. It is based on the true story of the friendship that developed between two schoolgirls in New Zealand in the 1950s. Kate plays Juliet Hulme, an English girl who has experienced chronic illness and separation from her family. Melanie plays Pauline Parker, a shy girl who has also endured physical ailments. As Juliet and Pauline become more involved in a fantasy life and with each other, their parents become concerned. Pauline sees her mother as the obstacle to her future life with Juliet, and she convinces Juliet to help her remove the obstacle.

Heavenly Creatures received great critical acclaim for its outstanding direction, production design, and particularly the acting. Kate's portrayal of Juliet was called ''One Of The Top Ten Performances By An Actor Under Thirty (In The Last Five Years)'' by Movieline Magazine in 1998. ''It's simply astonishing that Winslet was just 17 when she embarked on this unsettling characterization…Winslet makes the beautiful, monstrously galvanized Juliet so entertaining that we run with her even before we have sympathy…Winslet's commanding presence convinces us that Juliet could indeed be the architect of an alternate reality so compelling her disciple/friend would come to share it psychologically and sexually, and to wish her own mother dead for threatening it.''

Release dates: The film was released in the U.S. in November 1994 and in the UK in February 1995. It played at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals in 1994. The video was released March 6, 1996.

Domestic gross: $3,049,000






Main Cast:
Melanie Lynskey ...Pauline Parker
Kate Winslet ...Juliet Hulme
Sarah Peirse ...Honora Parker
Diana Kent ...Hilda Hulme
Clive Merrison ...Henry Hulme
Simon O'Connor ...Herbert Rieper
Jed Brophy ...John/Nicholas
Peter Elliott ...Bill Perry
Gilbert Goldie ...Doctor Bennett
Geoffrey Heath ...Reverend Norris
Kirsti Ferry ...Wendy Rieper
Ben Skjellerup ...Jonathon Hulme
Darien Takle ...Miss Stewart
Elizabeth Moody ...Miss Waller
Liz Mullane ...Mrs. Collins
Moreen Eason ...Mrs. Stevens
Pearl Carpenter ...Mrs. Zwartz
Lou Dobson ...Grandma Parker

Production Credits:
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Peter Jackson and Frances Walsh
Producers: Jim Booth, Bridget Bourke, Hanno Huth, Peter Jackson
Editor: Jamie Selkirk
Cinematography: Alun Bollinger
Production Design: Grant Major
Art Direction: Jill Cormack
Costume Design: Ngila Dickson
Original Music Score: Peter Dasent















1994 - Toronto International Film Festival - Winner - Metro Media Award -- Peter Jackson

1994 - Venice Film Festival - Winner - Silver Lion -- Jackson

1994 - New Zealand Film & Television Awards - Winner -- Kate Winslet, Best Foreign Actress

1995 - Academy Awards - Nominee - Best screenplay written directly for the screen -- Peter Jackson and Frances Walsh

1995 - Writers Guild of America - Nominee - Best screenplay

1995 - Toronto Film Festival - Winner -- Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey, Best Actress

1996 - London Film Critics Circle Awards - Winner -- Kate Winslet, British Actress of the Year; Nominee, Film of the Year

1996 - Empire Magazine - Winner -- Kate Winslet, Best British Actress








  • Many scenes were shot in the actual locations in New Zealand where the real-life events took place.

  • Director Peter Jackson is seen in the film playing the bum Juliet kisses outside the movie theatre.

  • Writer Frances Walsh plays a passenger on the bus that takes Juliet, Pauline and Mrs. Parker to the park.

  • Kate plays Juliet Hulme, aka Anne Perry, the successful mystery novelist. Kate's sister Anna Winslet appeared in the TV movie adaptation of Perry's first mystery novel 'The Cater Street Hangman'.





Fourth World -- great analysis of the film, info about the real-life case, gallery of real-life people

The Borovnian Archives -- gallery, audio clips, links to other pages

Heavenly Creatures Webhome -- image gallery, screenplay, reviews


Kate's Comments:





More screen shots here








''I was reading the script in the back of the car and I turned to my dad and yelled, 'I've GOT to get this!' And he replied, 'Then you will.' And I thought, 'Yep, that's it. I'm bloody well going to.' And that was it. I was so determined. It was something crucial to my life. I just so communicated with her, the story and their relationship. And when I found out, I just couldn't believe it. I was so happy, I cried. I remember I was working part-time at a deli at the time because I didn't have any money and was in the middle of making a sandwich when they phoned and said I'd got the job. I burst into tears and had to leave work because I couldn't control myself. It was absolutely brilliant... Filming Heavenly Creatures there [in New Zealand] was wonderful. We shifted location quite a bit, so I got to see a lot of the countryside. It's stunning and incredibly English, like Cornwall, and I had a fantastic time. I loved the experience and absolutely adore New Zealand... We finished shooting Heavenly Creatures in June 1993 and it wasn't released until February 1995. And I didn't see it until September 1994 at the Venice Film Festival. So that was just a funny old 18 months of nothingness and just waiting for it to be released. Then things went crazy when it took off in America and I was introduced to all these agents, which was frightening.''