Now that I've completely indulged my addiction to 24, my Netflix queue has returned to its normal film-heavy state. This weekend I watched Heavenly Creatures, starring a young Kate Winslet and directed by a pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson.
I had a completely bipolar reaction while watching this film. I went from really liking it to completely loathing it.
For the uninitiated, Kate Winslet moves to New Zealand and becomes fast friends with a misfit girl. Their connection is intense, so much so that they can mentally escape together into a world of their own creation. Like, they independently zone out and reconvene in their shared imagination. Do you understand? THEY MEET UP THERE. It's freaky. Even freakier because this is based on a true story.
Naturally, their families don't fully understand their unusual friendship and give them all sorts of shit about it, which makes them retreat to that secret place even more.
This really spoke to me because it sums up the relationship between me and my first (and really, only) love (so far). Our friendship was of the "just add water" variety. Instant yet complete. What it lacked in history, it more than made up for in intensity. God, it was so much fun at the beginning before we had to go complicate things by getting involved romantically. But we had to take that step because the longing was suffocating us. It's taken me a long time to realize this but the pain of denial is far greater than the pain of loss.
Oh, but enough about me and my drama! So Kate Winslet and the other chick forge this incredible yet really fucked-up friendship. Before long, they're mutually adoring Mario Lanza whilst snogging and fiddling with one another. Eventually they declare that they positively cannot live without each other and ridiculous plans are made to run off together and start a new life, blah, blah, blah.
Okay, I hate to keep making this all about me but my God, talk about a parallel existence! This is precisely the sort of thing that happened between THE EX and myself. Well, except for the Mario Lanza stuff. Spooky.
Again, I digress... So, the movie takes a really dark turn and this, my friends, is where I jumped off the ride. As it was, I was barely hanging on by a thread. Jackson repeatedly took the audience to the aforementioned girls' made-up world where we saw the girls frolicking in the meadow, pointing at unicorns and, um, socializing with life-sized terra-cotta statues (don't ask). I found the plot to be strange and really disjointed. Like, I knew what was going on but I wasn't following, if that makes sense.
Normally I quite like imaginative flights of fancy and tales of distorted reality. Terry Gilliam movies, for example, tend to make me giddy. This movie? Just plain weird. It's got talking clay in it, for fuck's sake! Some of the clay even sings opera. There is a life-sized Mario Lanza cast in clay! What the fuck, Peter Jackson?!?! What.the.fuck?!?!
But I can't in good conscience crap all over the movie. The scenery is breathtaking (New Zealand is SO on my list of places to visit) and the performances are really good. It's especially interesting to watch Kate Winslet because she's a little over-the-top in certain parts. If you admire her work, as I do, it's satisfying to do a comparison to see how far she's come.
Speaking of which, have you seen Extras?!?! Winslet guest-starred in the first episode and stole the show, which is no small feat considering her costar is the brilliant Ricky Gervais (The Office). HILARIOUS. Even better, there's not a stitch of talking clay to be found in the program. Always a good thing in my opinion.