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The Dressmaker (2015)

The Dressmaker (2015)

Kate WinsletJudy DavisLiam HemsworthHugo Weaving
Jocelyn Moorhouse


The Dressmaker (2015) is a English movie. Jocelyn Moorhouse has directed this movie. Kate Winslet,Judy Davis,Liam Hemsworth,Hugo Weaving are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. The Dressmaker (2015) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Based on Rosalie Ham's best selling novel, The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small home town in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture.

The Dressmaker (2015) Reviews

  • A crazily woven tale that breaks the mould of genre.


    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 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?


    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 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.

  • Brilliant, funny, heart wrenching and beautiful


    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 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.

  • An Australian Classic.


    '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 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!


    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 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


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