Writer: Jocelyn Moorhouse, P.J. Hogan (Screenplay) Rosalie Ham (Novel)
Starring: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Julia Blake, Shane Bourne, Kerry Fox, Shane Bourne
Plot: A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
Tagline – Revenge is back in fashion
Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Quirky & Dark
Story: The Dressmaker starts when Tilly Dunnage (Winslet) returns to her small home rural town to see her mother Molly (Davis), Tilly isn’t welcomed by all because of something that happened in the past resulting in the death of a child.
Tilly is out for revenge, only she starts turning heads and offering to design dresses for the local women in town, she grabs the attention of the town bachelor Teddy (Hemsworth) with her only friend being Sergeant Farrat (Weaving) who has his own eye for fashion.
Thoughts on The Dressmaker
Characters – Tilly Dunnage is a glamorous woman that has seen the world learning the fashion world, she has returned home for revenge after being forced to leave the town as a child, she helps the women of the town look gorgeous and extra special, while she convinces herself that she isn’t cursed. She knows how to turn heads using her cloths to make this happen. Molly is the mother of Tilly who has been living in isolation for years, she didn’t want her daughter to return, even though she doesn’t start to bond with her after all these years apart. Teddy is a young man in the town, he is one of the few people that looked after Molly while Tilly was away, he soon takes a shine to her, wanting to prove that she didn’t do anything in the first place. Sergeant Farrat is one of the people that is happy to welcome Tilly back to town, he does have his own secret which involves his cross dressing, making him easy to twist when Tilly wants information.
Performances – Kate Winslet is great in this leading role, bring us a character filled with guilt who is just as happy to show a positive confident side to the people in the town. Judy Davis is a scene stealer in this film, being able to get the laughs required to make her the most memorable part of nearly ever scene she is in. Liam Hemsworth is at the best he has ever been, which is great to see him breaking away from the roles that aren’t working for him. Hugo Weaving gets to have a lot of fun in his role too.
Story – The story follows a woman who returns home to get revenge on the people that forced her to leave, only to learn that town has just as many secrets within the walls, that revenge is just about letting them out. We get to see how a town can turn enough heads to make everything seem like nothing is wrong, only for a curse to be waiting to be lifted if it isn’t inside somebody’s mind. We do get a lot of characters being introduced which can make things difficult to keep up with because we get plenty of little factors that do lead up to the personal conflict between the characters. this is a lot more fun of a story than I was expecting even though it is sprinkled with very dark moments.
Comedy – The comedy in the film does come the quirky nature of the events as they unfold, we have plenty of fashion related comical moments as well as small town gossip, which will get laugh along the way.
Settings – The film is set in a small rural Australian town, where everybody does know everybody else, we are filled with gossip and instant reactions to anything that goes on in the town too.
Final Thoughts –This is a quirky dark comedy that is sprinkled by the elements of revenge, which does keep us wondering just what is the endgame of her decision making process.
Overall: Dark quirky comedy treat.