Movie Review: Broad Green Pictures' The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker
Directed by: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Written by: Rosalie Ham (Novel by), P.J. Hogan and Jocelyn Moorhouse (Screenplay by)
Produced by: Sue Maslin
Starring: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis, Caroline Goodall
Official Sites: Facebook: Facebook | Twitter
A glamorous, worldly dressmaker returns to her small Australian hometown to seek the truth behind her notorious reputation. This dark and quirky comedy stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, who cares for her eccentric mother (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis), schemes with the local sergeant (Hugo Weaving) who has secrets of his own, and falls for local farmer Teddy (Liam Hemsworth). As she starts to unravel her scandalous past, she transforms the town’s women with her exquisite creations. Armed with only her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly shows she is a force to be reckoned with and that revenge never goes out of style.

You know you’re off to a good start when the opening line of the movie is “I’m back, you bastards”. The Dressmaker was a wonderful story that delivers the viewer through the full gamut of emotions. The cinematography was both bold and dramatic, and the isolated of setting of the small town was picture perfect. The dead but beautiful trees around town lent much to the drama of the story which had numerous comedic moments.

Kate Winslet’s character Tilly is a woman who comes home to the tiny town of Dungatar to try to remember her past, while exacting a quiet revenge on the town that exiled her. She transforms the women of the town with fashion and manipulates them in a way they are never aware of. Tilly’s development in this movie is also strongly influenced by the relationship she is rebuilding with her mentally ill mother ‘Mad Molly’ played by Judy Davis. Hugo Weaving had a fabulous role as the cross dressing cop who lends a bit of comic relief while always very endearing. There were a few haunting moments in the movie that have stayed with me, but mostly positive memorable moments, such as Liam Hemsworth (just, in general), and the creative and whimsical fashion throughout the movie. It is hard to say too much without spoilers. If you appreciate an interesting story, talented actors, and visually pleasing cinematography then chances are good that you will enjoy this movie.

Our evening was hosted by a collection of groups including Magpies & PeacocksHouston Vintage, Southwest Alternate Media Project, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The evening started with a cocktail party and ended with meeting the reigning Miss Houston Vintage, as well as two former Miss Houston Vintages (and a swag bag!). They were all gracious hostesses, not to mention fabulously dressed!

Here are pictures of the wonderful event:

You can also read the book the inspired the film:

(click to purchase)

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