The Dressmaker

3.5 Stars

After years spent traveling the world and becoming a dressmaker in Paris, Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returns to her small hometown in the Australian outback to reunite with her mother (Judy Davis) and to uncover the truth about her childhood. Armed with her sewing machine and sense of style, Tilly also begins to transform the women of this small town. She even manages to begin a relationship with the hunky Teddy (Liam Hemsworth). But Tilly has more on her mind than reconnecting. She wants revenge, too.

The Dressmaker is a drama, technically, but it’s a thoroughly Australian product. It mixes in intrigue and revenge with comedy in a way that never completely gels, but does draw attention to itself. As small towns tend to show in this sort of production, this one’s filled with characters, but there are enough changes to how everyone acts in the film that they don’t get old. Winslet is breathtaking throughout the film, as she slowly lets her guard down in stylish fashion. She’s paired well with Davis and Hemsworth, in particular. Overall, The Dressmaker is a solid film that scores points for the tonal and narrative twists it throws in. The shifts may not please everyone, but for those who can handle them, it’s worth the ride.

The Dressmaker • Rating: R (for brief language and a scene of violence) • Runtime: 118 minutes • Genre: Drama • Cast: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving • Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse • Writers: Jocelyn Moorhouse, P.J. Hogan • Distributor: Amazon/Broad Green
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