The Dressmaker        review by Drusilla Blakey

I love seeing trailers for films that I’m interested in watching and end up surprising with something that was nothing like what I thought they would be. The Dressmaker offered up a trailer that was interesting, but looked as though it might be some sort of artsy period drama, but it was something really different. Could this movie offer up an entertaining story that outshined the previews or will it be a dress that should never have been made?

 

The Dressmaker follows 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. Kate Winslet gives a great performance in this unique, fantastical and out-of-the-box telling of a murder mystery.  The movie is set in a small town in 1951 Australia and gives us a different view into their history which I think for many small towns in America, was not unlike our own. I was immediately mesmerized by the wonderful musical score.  The movie opens with what sounded very much like an old western movie and then it turns into an old horror soundtrack akin to something straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock flick.  This instantly captured my attention and I was ready to follow the story without a word of dialog ever being spoken.

 

As the movie is centered around Winslet and her work as a dressmaker, I must say that the costumes were absolutely fabulous!  Winslet herself shined in everything she wore (as well as everyone else in the cast.)  I’m sure the team worked very hard on the costumes and it was definitely one of the highlights of the film. Liam Hemsworth also gave a solid performance and I’m sure everyone will be happy to know that we do get to see him several times without his shirt on.  But truly he does a great job in the film that brought me to tears. One of the standouts in the film is Hugo Weaving (who most of us may know as Agent Smith and the Red Skull) who gives a remarkable and surprising performance.  I think we are used to seeing him in more serious roles, but in this film he gives a lighthearted, funny and emotional performance.  In fact, his character was cheered and applauded by the audience as I was watching the film.

 

The Dressmaker is a wonderful dark comedy full of twists and turns that I think most will enjoy.  If you like Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth or Hugo Weaving, then I would give the movie a try. 

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