HEAVENLY CREATURES
1994, Park Circus, 99 min, New Zealand, Dir: Peter Jackson

“It was our intention to make a film about a friendship that went terribly wrong,” said director Peter Jackson of this acclaimed look at the run-up to a notorious 1954 killing in Christchurch, New Zealand. In strong screen debuts, Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey play obsessive teens who bond over an imagined world and eventually murder the mother they fear will separate them. The remarkable re-creation of the girls’ inner lives is aided by Jackson’s wonderfully visualized fantasy sequences and voice-overs drawn from actual diary entries.


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
1995, Sony Repertory, 136 min, UK/USA, Dir: Ang Lee

When their father dies, the Dashwood sisters are left impoverished. But sensible Elinor (Emma Thompson) and vivacious Marianne (Kate Winslet) endure, eventually finding love (with Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman). This adaptation of Jane Austen’s first novel was Ang Lee’s first feature outside of Taiwan, as well as Thompson’s first effort as a screenwriter - for which she won an Academy Award.


HAMLET (1996)
1996, Warner Bros., 242 min, UK, USA, Dir: Kenneth Branagh

Director Kenneth Branagh updates Shakespeare's classic to the second half of the 19th century and presents it in all its unedited glory in this epic treatment, one of the last films to be shot in 70mm. Actor Branagh shines in the title role, but director Branagh wisely surrounds himself with an astonishing supporting cast that includes Julie Christie, Sir Derek Jacobi, Kate Winslet, Rufus Sewell, Charlton Heston, John Gielgud ... and even Robin Williams and Billy Crystal! Not to be missed on the big screen.


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