Starring: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis
Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
2015 has been a very busy for Kate Winslet and she is back on the big screen this week with her latest film The Dressmaker. The Dressmaker is an adaptation of the novel by Rosalie Ham and sees Winslet team up with filmmaker Jocelyn Moorhouse for the first time.
Moorhouse is no stranger to the big screen with the likes of A Proof and How to Make an American Quilt, but this is her first feature since A Thousand Acres back in 1997.
The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, revenge comedy-drama set in 1950s outback Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Winslet), as elegant as she is determined, causes a stir when she returns home from the exclusive couture world of Paris to the tiny backwater of Dungatar, seeking to right the wrongs of her past.
Before she can reconcile with her eccentric mother (Davis) and the even more oddball townsfolk, Tilly is swept off her feet by local hunk, Teddy (Hemsworth). But armed with her sewing machine and her incredible talent, Tilly sets about to not only transform the women of the town but also to exact sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
I have to admit, I had never heard of the novel and I really did not to know what to expect when I settled in to watch The Dressmaker... I still don't really know what to make of it.
This could have been the triumphant return of Jocelyn Moorhouse - who hasn't directed a movie in nearly twenty years - but I don't think she has quite pulled it off. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty to like here but the tone really is desperately uneven and the plot does get more than a little absurd.
For me, Kate Winslet is wonderful in the lead role of Tilly, she beautifully runs with the dark and very funny aspects of her character. Her scenes with Judy Davis are some of the film's best as this mother and daughter relationship is the film's most intriguing and poignant.
The Dressmaker is a dark and very funny movie but you just feel that there is something missing here. While there are many aspects here to enjoy, you just get the feeling that The Dressmaker could have been so much more.
Having said that, I like the strange nature of the film and there are some interesting characters and relationships that will more than hold your attention. The wonderful cast list really does help life the story and the film - Winslet and Davis are on particular fine form.
The Dressmaker is out now.
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