What It’s About: In 1950s New Zealand, 14 teen year old Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) meets and befriends 15-year-old Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet). A very intense friendship begins, in which Parker and Hulme create an imaginative fantasy world to live in. Pauline’s working class and Juliet’s more educated, affluent parents eventually decide that the girls are spending too much time together and attempt to separate them, resulting in tragedy.
Why Watch it Today?: The climax of the film occurred today in 1954 (spoilers). Peter Jackson first left the gross-out horror comedies he made his reputation on with this excellent movie based on this notorious (in New Zealand) murder case, earning a Best Original Screenplay nomination in the process. The film combines a coming-of-age story with a true crime story and elaborate special effects for the times the girls enter into their fantasy world, effectively combining Jackson’s strong points into what I would venture is his best film.