Jerkass Woobie: The girls themselves, especially Juliet when she's sick with tuberculosis and her parents abandon her in hospital anyway, despite promising her they'd never leave her again after her being bedridden for most of her childhood. Of course, she aids and abets murder, but she and Pauline clearly are horrified by this. It is suggested that the very reason the girls became so obsessed with each other and desperate to maintain their friendship is because of their mutually lonely childhoods.
Pauline's mother. Yes, she's strict, but she is dealing with a rebellious, unstable daughter in an unhealthy codependent relationship with another unstable girl.
Pauline's friends have revealed that Honorah was not nearly as sympathetic as portrayed.
Les Yay: How the film interprets the girls' friendship. After being outed as Juliet, Anne Perry stated this wasn't true, and the filmmakers had completely misunderstood Pauline's diary entries that are portrayed as suggesting it.
The people of Borovnia, giant, unpainted plasticine figures that talk, sing, dance, and make love.
Their mouths are filled in with clay too, and their eyes. It makes them look very creepy and flat.
Pauline suddenly morphing into Orson Welles during the love scene.
The murder scene at the end of the film. Closing your eyes does absolutely no good and may even make it worse.
Dear God, the noise the actress playing Honora makes as Pauline first hits her with the brick. It's stomach turning how realistic and painful it sounds. Not to mention the fact that this was toned down compared to how reports suggest it was in real life (or the movie cuts it off before that point).
Soundtrack Dissonance: The film closes with a cut to black over Pauline's agonized scream — then Mario Lanza's recording of "You'll Never Walk Alone," a moving and heartbreaking ballad from Carousel, playing over an intertitle epilogue about the girls' trial, conviction and imprisonment — It was a condition of their release that they never meet again. Despite everything, this is both chilling and a Tear Jerker for many viewers.
The Woobie: It's kind of hard not to feel sorry for the boarder in Pauline's house, John. While he sneaks into her room with the obvious intent of sleeping with her, she later sneaks out to see him, and his first question after they have sex is 'I didn't hurt you, did I?' The movie plays it as her realising she's not in love with him, especially not compared with how she feels about Juliet, so she promptly ditches him without a goodbye. He's then shown bicycling after her while she's on a bus, yelling that he still loves her.
Hugely YMMV, since he tries to sleep with Pauline when she's fourteennote In reality Pauline was fifteen at this time. and he basically guilt-trips her to let him stay in her bed, which gets Pauline a Slut-Shaming from her parents when discovered — and they take away her right to sleep in the shack, her sanctuary of privacy. Then he starts insisting that he's in love with her despite really knowing nothing about her, and does this screaming from a bicycle while Pauline in the train doesn't even notice as she and Juliet are completely absorbed in each other.
Prof. Hulme. It's never even hinted at what he's being fired for, but you can't help feeling sorry for him during the scene when he's crying in his study.
He'd been caught in one of his numerous dalliances with his young female students.
Values Dissonance: Done deliberately, with the Doctor and the parents talking about homosexuality like it's a horrible disease that must be cured as soon as possible.