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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.
Runtime: 118 mins Release Date: 20 Nov 2015
Brilliant, funny, heart wrenching and beautiful (by julietb-01075)
Brilliant movie. Kate Winslet as the star lives the role so perfectly you forget she is not a native born Australian - her accent is flawless, her acting is raw and beautiful. The movie is heart wrenching, darkly funny, shocking and confronting all in a delightful way. Judy Davis is brilliant - irascible as Mad Molly, you gradually discover her depth and beauty. Again flawlessly played. Hugo Weaving is fantastic as always - several laugh out loud moments with him. He is the consummate actor and where someone else playing this role would have just been a plain unlikeable weirdo, Hugo makes you <more>
love him and his quirky nature. Liam Hemsworth is sweet and very watchable. The townsfolk played by many notable Australian actors are well played also. All in all a wonderful movie that will touch your heart in many ways. Liked it so much, I will definitely go and see it again. It's THAT good.
Today I had the absolute pleasure of seeing a film I've been waiting about a decade for. 'The Dressmaker' is adapted from Rosalie Ham's bestselling Australian book which first came out in 2000, and I studied in high school about that long ago too. Ms Ham actually came and spoke at my school, and I can still remember her telling us that she was currently writing a screenplay of the book – but that she wasn't sure if the American production company would want the movie to be set in Australia or adapted to the bible-belt/deep south of America.Well. It's the year 2015 <more>
and 'The Dressmaker' is here – and it's spectacular and spectacularly Aussie. Indeed, I couldn't have pictured a film adaptation that took the Australia out of this country-Gothic dark comedy tale, and watching the film shot around Victoria in Horsham, Little River and Yarraville I got tingles when I saw the town of Dungatar on the screen – bought so precisely to life. The lonely white gum trees and rocky-red dust bowl look, the rusted tin-roofs and sagging clapboard buildings. The distinctly Australian setting becomes a character unto itself, and a stark background to Tilly Dunnage's unfolding tale of style and secrets I absolutely loved the book when I studied it in school, and I'm thrilled to report that the film is equally fantastic and one of the best adaptations I've seen. Kate Winslet is Tilly who returns home to look after her ailing mother and town outcast "mad" Molly but she's also returned home to discover the truth of why she was sent away as a child. The town of Dungatar is sure that Tilly murdered a boy, and Tilly is half-convinced of the rumor too, and sure it's why she's now cursed. But she also knows that Dungatar never had any love for her and Molly growing up, and if she wants to get close to the truth she'll have to use everything in her arsenal to pry it out of them. Tilly's arsenal happens to be fashion. Haute-couture, to be more precise. Since running away from a Melbourne boarding school as a girl, she traveled from London to Milan and Paris, studying under the greats Balenciaga! and when she returns to Dungatar she's a veritable fashion powerhouse – using her Singer sewing machine to create Dior-inspired and Tilly-originals to coax the vile women of Dungatar into a false sense of individuality and specialness The cast in this film is fantastic. Kate Winslet and Judy Davis clearly have a ball playing contentious mother/daughter pair Tilly and Molly, and there's a beautiful balance of the absurd and heartbreaking between them. Liam Hemsworth as one of the few kind Dungatar townspeople who pursues Tilly romantically, despite her dire warnings of a curse, is at his charming best here – the role of Teddy McSwiney isn't much of a stretch for him, but it's lovely to see and hear a Hemsworth in a little Aussie role that suits him to a tee and, look, at school my fellow classmates were dead-set on the likes of Beau Brady from 'Home and Away' playing Teddy so – Liam's wonderful! .The film is choc-a-block with Aussie stars playing dastardly villains or defeated characters in the town of Dungatar – Shane Jacobson, Barry Otto, Shane Bourne and Alison Whyte among them. Some of these minor roles clearly got a bit jumbled in the editing; there's a wayward flirtation between Rebecca Gibney and a shop-keep that just sort of goes nowhere but then there's Hugo Weaving as the kindly cross-dressing Sergeant Farrat, making up for mistakes in the past by befriending Tilly and coming to her and Molly's defense – Weaving shines in the role and clearly had a ball.Another stand-out was Sarah Snook as Gertrude 'Trudy' Pratt, an old classmate of Tilly's who becomes one of her main clotheshorses. Snook is in everything at the moment coming off 'The Secret River' adaptation, now in 'The Beautiful Lie' and she's just wonderful. In this film when the clothes are also characters as much as the setting, Snook is breathtaking in Tilly's Dior and Balenciaga. The film is set in the 1950s so it's vintage Dior and Balenciaga, darling – everyone looks like a Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn throwback, and it especially suits Snook with her luminous, luminous skin and enviable hourglass figure.Kate Winslet is truly superb – of course she nails the accent, that's one of her great strengths remember 1994's 'Heavenly Creatures'? – and she's absolutely stunning in all of the vintage couture. But she really does justice to Tilly, a complex and fragile character beneath all those breathtaking outfits like suits of armor.I t was great fun to see this story I've long loved come to life. Director Jocelyn Moorhouse has made a sumptuous film that frames the stark town of Dungatar as beautifully as she does the actresses swanning in the stunning gowns. The adaptation is one of the best I've ever seen, but then again Rosalie Ham had some great material on offer in her country-Gothic tale of ball gowns and small-town brutality. I couldn't believe how hard I cried in some parts, even as I vividly remembered having the wind knocked out of me when I first read the twists and turns in Ham's book all those years ago 'The Dressmaker' is a little Aussie marvel.
Banished from a remote and sparsely populated Australian town when she was ten, Tilly Kate Winslet returns many years later. Fresh from conquering the fashion world in Paris, Tilly's form fitting red dress turns heads immediately. Some say Tilly committed a horrible crime and was cursed for it. Tilly has come in order to better learn the truth about what really happened and to set things right. There are many things on her mind including determining her own guilt in the matter, her mother Molly who appears to be mad, lifting the curse, finding love and revenge, among other things.Battle <more>
lines form. Many want Tilly to be guilty and cursed. They work to get her seen in the worst light. The haters may even include Tilly's mother Molly. Yet there are many who believe in Tilly. As she sets up a dress making shop and helps create new and better characters for people, her allies grow. The dresses she makes change how people see themselves and how others view them. It may not be Tilly who is cursed, rather it might be the town for the judgments that they heaped upon a girl.At the heart of this wonderful film is the theme of how a few awful people make life so bad for others by their terrible and swift judgments. The film is set in the 1950s and is both serious and funny. P.J. Hogan is one of the best screenwriters. His stories are complex and full of amazing twists & turns. His insight into human nature, especially female characters, is spot-on. Added to the spell-binding writing is superb acting by Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and the others, the always intriguing back-drop of Australia, compelling themes and characters, and superb directing and organization. Of the 32 films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, this was the best.
A crazily woven tale that breaks the mould of genre. (by david-rector-85092)
This film will divide audiences and critics as it already has; especially American and British ones , so it will be interesting to see whether it finds a market here in Australia. 'The Dressmaker' is the long awaited directorial return of Jocelyn Moorhouse. After 'Proof' was a major critical success in 1991, American features followed, but this is the first for Ms Moorhouse in nearly 2 decades. There is an audacious feel to this movie from start to finish and for me, an unexpected one. From the movie poster, this would seem like a period costume drama; well it is certainly <more>
set in a bygone era, and there is a panoply of amazing costumes, but this film is impossible to squeeze into a genre; making it a challenge to describe nor summarize.As I write this review, the film has not yet opened nationwide in Australia; but if the preview audience I attended was any indication, this film will be enjoyed by local filmgoers, but will it find a mainstream audience? I somehow doubt it. It is anarchic; indulgent, broad, implausible and loads of fun!! I enjoyed most of its 2 hour running time; but the final quarter did feel clumsy with a little too much plot shoehorned in; giving it a chaotic and lurching quality. Early on I sat wondering how this movie will fit into the already idiosyncratic reputation that Aussie films have; both at home and on the world screens. 'The Dressmaker' is ultimately going to be its own genre. As an adaptation from the novel of the same name; there are so many characters to depict and follow; and part of the chaos was the litany of quirkily filmed sequences with a who's who of local talent. This is easily the best cast ever assembled for an Australian feature; from stand up comedians to TV icons, to stage and screen legends; and new talent. Perhaps it will be the star lineup that will lure filmgoers into the cinema for this movie. Judy Davis, one of our most celebrated actors, virtually steals the movie from the British import, the amazing Kate Winslet. Davis is in top form here, showing a screwball comedic side; rarely seen in her stellar career thus far; perhaps only glimpsed in the Woody Allen films she has appeared in. With the blackened teeth; the haggard make up and hobo costuming, Judy is a riot as the mother to the story's protagonist. If Ms Davis doesn't get the AACTA for Supporting Actress, I'll be very surprised. And if the movie gets the right marketing, perhaps that elusive Oscar for one of the great unrewarded screen stars. The teaming of Judy with Kate Winslet works well; there are some riotous moments and tender ones too; which give the film not only respite from the breakneck speed but some gravitas. Liam Hemsworth is suitably the movie matinée idol; with his piercing blue eyes, his tall, muscular frame and that true blue Aussie drawl. Sarah Snook shows once again why she is the lady in waiting for the big time, and is racking up an impressive list of screen credits. There are so many great actors here: Sacha Horler, Barry Otto, Julia Blake, Genevieve Lemon, Rebecca Gibney, literally just naming a few, and perhaps best of all, a cross dressing Hugo Weaving, showing that there is nothing this great actor cannot play, and play admirably.The film is beautifully filmed and designed, and the strange world of this quaint little town in the middle of nowhere is perfectly captured and lovingly presented. So what are the criticisms? I was fine with the morphing of black comedy, western, revenge, love story motifs and styles; but I struggled a little with the matching of Kate Winslet, who at nearly 40 is way too old to have been a contemporary of the characters played here by Snook, Hemsworth et al. Winslet is nearer the age of the actors playing the parents of her and her contemporaries - Alison Whyte and Rebecca Gibney. As gorgeous and brilliant in the role as she is, it does seem as if the film, which was possibly funded and built around Winslet, has forgotten about this age difference. At 25, Liam Hemsworth, and Sarah Snook at 27 simply don't look right in the context of the main characters return after 20 years. That said, i mostly ignored this, and just enjoyed this caper movie for what it is.In reading reviews of the movie from overseas, and seeing the vitriol targeting the movie's 'mish mash' and 'mess', I reflected on which other films or filmmakers 'The Dressmaker' was reminiscent of. Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' sprung to mind as well as the work of Joel and Ethan Coen and Quentin Tarantino. All of these storytellers dabble in an array of genres, rendering them difficult to categorize, whilst still engendering praise and an audience. Anderson's recent multi Oscar win, had a glorious cast, a beautiful design, and a similarly caper like quality: at times just silly, but handsome to watch and enjoyable in the moment, and arty for sure, but hardly earth shattering or deep and meaningful. I hope that Australian critics and audiences alike get behind 'The Dressmaker' as it is a caper movie; I don't think it believes it is making a weighty, earnest Oscar bait movie, but a roller-coaster of a cinematic kind; funny, biting, gauche, heightened,tense and raucuous; and at the end of the day, very very entertaining.
Any ideas why this masterpiece was snubbed at the Oscars? (by Radu_A)
This is hands down the best film in the English language I've seen for at least two years. Not only does it do its source absolute justice, it adds a genuine, highly original Oz visual atmosphere to its themes. The cast is nothing short of amazing, with every single character bringing the utmost of their craft to the roles. Judy Davis delivers one of the best performances of her illustrious career, but Kate Winslet, Kerry Fox and Sarah Snook are also fantastic. Liam Hemsworth isn't just hotter than Chris, he's also the far more nuanced thespian. Hugo Weaving, one of the best <more>
actors of his generation, sinks his teeth into his beefy part of an exceedingly well-mannered cop in the 1950's Oz outback.Winslet is the mysterious stranger arriving by night whom he delivers her luggage to in the beginning of the film. He quickly recognizes her as the girl he sent away following the death of a boy her age 25 years earlier. The townsfolk, including her quick-tempered mother played by Davis, alternate between suspicion of the motives of her return and attraction for her stunning dressmaking skills and resolute character.Some people will find the meandering story, which constantly shifts between mystery, comedy, tragedy and romance hard to follow. It's their own fault. Everyone else will highly appreciate the original story, the excellent camera work and set design, the abundance of love shown in every frame for a project that took 15 years to realize. Its domestic success as the 2nd most successful film of 2015 after you-know-which-one could not be more deserved.One can therefore only wonder why the Adacemy snubbed this for the Oscars, especially if you look at the usual suspects which represent the contenders this year. And as justified as the #OscarsSoWhite debate is, this omission also reminds us of another group of movie artists which are all too often absent from the list of nominees: Women. For what makes "The Dressmaker" so highly enjoyable on top of its original story, local feel and excellent cast, is that it offers a feminine angle of storytelling which we do not get to see enough.
I read the book and wasn't disappointed with the movie (by tonia_marshall)
I took my 13-year-old son to see this with me and we both thought it was the best movie we'd seen all year. We laughed out loud for the first 30 minutes. I read the book last year and I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Some parts were funny, some sad. The ending wasn't what I wanted to happen, but the characters were great. I loved the descriptions of silks and satins and needlework. I enjoyed the movie more than the book as I knew where it was going. The story is set in a tiny outback town in Australia in the 1950s. Tilly Dunnage Kate Winslet was sent away as a child and <more>
is now returning. She looks like Veronica Lake, all bright red lipstick and Dior inspired outfits. But it quickly becomes clear that she is not welcome. It is only when the locals realize she can make them look fabulous that they begin to tolerate her.There are flashback and hints as to what it was that forced Tilly to leave. I won't say anymore as I don't want to spoil the story. Believe me, it's a good one! Judy Davis who plays Tilly's doolally mother plays a great part; she reminded me of Maggie Smith. All the characters are larger than life, but it's a comedy. The part where Liam Hemsworth takes his shirt off watch the trailer had some of the audience cheering!
'The Dressmaker' is not the type of film that instantly attracts me to the cinema. It's the wrong genre, although this movie is difficult to place the wrong story and it creates the wrong type of atmosphere. Leave this to the women and go and see something a little more.......you. How wrong I was and how glad I am to have jumped out of my comfort zone. It was a good excuse to take my good old mum and treat her to a midday-midweek viewing and some company with her first born or that is what I told myself when I entered the theatre only to find it filled with women and retirees <more>
excited to be out and about without the frightening hording masses that congregate on weekends.'The Dressmaker' has been dubbed as the long awaited return of Director Jocelyn Moorhouse to the chair since 1997 and she has delivered a film that will be remembered for some outstanding performances from Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving and Kate Winslet. I agree with the statement that this film doesn't fit into any particular mold but this peculiar inconsistency is what keeps the audience fixated on the screen. Just when you think that the story is heading down a certain path it quickly turns sideways, takes a detour before arriving at its intended destination. Some viewers may find this lack of direction annoying and even film destroying but I think this could be a little over dramatic.'The Dressmaker' holds a certain charm that never leaves it as it sways back and forth from one type of genre to the next. It can be billed as a 'black comedy' but it does allow the audience to experience an array of emotions. At times you will be laughing at the antics on screen and at other times you will be gripped by the drama unfolding.Based on the novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham, 'The Dressmaker' centres around Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage Kate Winslet and her chaotic return to a small Australian country town in rural Victoria in 1951. Tilly's tumultuous departure years before were under controversial circumstances and the small rural community have not forgotten. She is everything the town isn't - sophisticated, stylish, experienced and worldly and she has come back for one reason......to reek havoc on those that callously betrayed her all those years ago.Kate Winslet rarely puts in a bad showing and her turn as Tilly Dunnage is made even more exceptional with a flawless Australian accent. The audience will forget that she is English as she seamlessly slides into the fabric of her surroundings, not once slipping up when delivering her dialogue. Judy Davis is the star of the show as Tilly's mad mother, Molly Dunnage. Davis effortlessly steals every scene she is in with outstanding engagement with a character that is a little bit off centre. Judy will be recognised for this performance with an AACTA and it will be thoroughly deserved.Hugo Weaving adds his superb presence as the cross dressing cop, Sergeant Farrat. His character grows on the audience with eccentric colourful manner, bringing the best out in Weaving that gives this wonderful film an extra element of charm. Liam Hemsworth provides the eye candy for the ladies in a solid role as Teddy McSwiney. Both Davis and Winslet are caught hot under the collar on numerous occasions. He is the stereo-typical tall, blue-eyed, rugged country boy who is the proverbial apple in his mother's eye and does exactly what Moorhouse hired him to do......stand there and look pretty. Good onya Liam.Joining the familiar talent is a who's who of Australian television that many international audiences won't recognise but they do give the film a more authentic Aussie flavour. Could this be the breakout role for Sarah Snook? Her character Gertrude Pratt is totally transformed by Tilly Dunnage only to treat the outsider with disdain when 'theories' are whispered throughout the town.I cannot see any reason why this film won't be enjoyed by the masses. It is Australian and its dry wit may not appeal to foreign markets which is a shame. The narrative is all over the place but don't let this put you off. Dig a little deeper and you will be rewarded with some brilliant performances.
All dressed up with somewhere to go! (by mlaimlai2)
Over the years there have been many quirky, eccentric characters featured in Australian films such as Muriel's Wedding, The Castle and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The stories have been uniquely Australian to be appreciated by Australian audiences but occasionally they become worldwide hits like Crocodile Dundee. It's the laid-back Aussie humour that international audiences sometimes just don't understand which prevents the majority of Australian films from crossing the cultural barrier. The Dressmaker has been successful at the Australian box office for it features a story <more>
where the underdog or misunderstood succeeds along with a story that promotes the Aussie dry wit with dialogue that appeals to the everyday Australian.Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage Kate Winslet returns home to rural Australia after spending time abroad developing her fashion designing skills. As a child she was sent to a boarding school in Melbourne by Sergeant Farrat Hugo Weaving for she was accused of murdering a boy who bullied her. Her mother, Molly Judy Davis initially doesn't recognise her and isn't convinced she's her daughter. She eventually accepts her in her house and Tilly transforms it into a fashion factory where she makes clothes for the women of the town. In the meantime, she becomes romantically involved with Teddy McSwiney Liam Hemsworth whom she has known since they were children. The town still hasn't forgiven her for apparently killing the boy and believe she is cursed. Tilly will virtually stop at nothing to exact revenge on those who did her wrong. The Dressmaker is a long way from being perfect but what it does offer is an entertaining two hours that is well-paced and beguiling. There might be a few too many flashbacks and slow motion sequences but the compelling storyline featuring a wide range of interesting characters allows the majority of the film to shine. Some of the depictions of the characters might be broad but that's just the perfect fit for quintessential Australians. A lot of the dialogue is witty and adds much to the Aussie humour on show. Davis garners most of the laughs in a performance which demonstrates her sensational acting ability. Winslet perfects the Aussie accent with this being her second time playing an Australian after 1999's Holy Smoke! Many of the scenes she shares with her screen mother are hilarious. Weaving also has his turn in the spotlight with a wonderful performance as the cross-dressing police officer. Hemsworth plays it straight in comparison to his co-stars and reliably fulfills his role as the love interest. Support actors such as Shane Bourne, Sarah Snook, Kerry Fox and Barry Otto also succeed in projecting the individual traits of their characters.Credit must go to the costume designs with the haute couture style befitting of the movie title. With the story being reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood western where the main character comes to town, mingles with the locals then affects their lives one way or another, the music score by David Hirschfelder has some resemblance to a western. It's an exciting score that perfectly sets up the moods of the characters and the theme of the plot. The cinematography by Donald McAlpine also enhances the look of the film, ensuring that the rural town maintains its 'western' appearance.Although clichés do affect the characters and story, the overall quality of the film ensures that most viewers will be entertained. Jocelyn Moorhouse the director and co-writer should be chuffed with her film's box office success even though not all critics have praised her work. Sometimes it's the majority you have to please, not the minority. http://mlaimlai2.wix.com/magical-movie-review
This movie is like a patchwork, little by little you get the whole picture, a really fine piece of work, Kate Winslet is great, Judy Davis simply brilliant, not to mention Hugo Weaving's performance, outstanding, I enjoyed every minute, never underestimate a woman, revenge is a dish best served cold, well in this particular case, sewed, you don't get it at the beginning, why is she dressed like this and what is she doing in such a forsaken place, not wanted at all, starting by her mother, than the battle begins, with a sewing machine a Singer , determination and a lot of talent, a <more>
few golf club's, and the whole place is headlong, word for word, fasten your seat belt, this is going to be one kind of a ride