Kate Winslet stars as the titular Dressmaker in this bawdy Australian tale about rediscovering one’s past and then burning it to the ground.
Winslet plays Tilly Dunnage, who returns to the one-horse town she left as a child. She’s now a world-class dressmaker who lives by the motto that clothes can make the man (or the woman). She quickly cleans up her batty old mum — played by the great Judy Davis — and begins dressing the neglected women of this dusty little town as if they were movie stars. In the process, she also manages to shake up the town’s elite, who mysteriously still look down on her for a dreadful past event that she seems unable to fully remember. Jocelyn Moorhouse directs a film that’s at first light-hearted and vibrant — reminiscent of the work of fellow Aussies like Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom or P.J. Hogan’s Muriel’s Wedding — which eventually devolves into a slower and more dramatic conclusion. THE WORD: The film as a whole is buoyed by Liam Hemsworth looking very handsome; Hugo Weaving as the town’s cross-dressing, fashion-loving cop; a parade of truly exquisite evening gowns; and enlivened most of all by Judy Davis’s acting — which is seldom seen on the big screen these days but still remains sublime. WHERE TO WATCH: In Theaters
Last modified: July 28, 2017