Film Review: The Dressmaker

Belinda_kisses_tnBelinda Hamilton reviews The Dressmaker based on the bestselling book by the same name by Rosalie Ham


I don’t know about you, but when I was in my teens, the thought of a movie set in Australia made me cringe. They’d be full of clichéd and irksome stereotypes, which they’d attempt to palm off as ‘charm’.

Well, today I walked into the cinema to see an Aussie movie inspired by the trailer, which I’ve seen countless times on YouTube…

That red dress and the pretence of going back to a small country town sucked me in.

Before we get on to talking about the cast, I want to take my hat off to Victoria Mielewska who was the woman behind Kate Winslet’s unbelievably authentic Aussie accent. It wasn’t that disrespectful yarning that makes us sound like a bunch of drunks, or the that snobbish British-tinged snipping either. As Goldilocks put it, it was just right.

The_Dressmaker_film_posterWhere to start on the cast? I guess since Tilly (Kate Winslet) is the first character we meet, it makes sense to start with her. She hops off a bus in the middle of freaking nowhere Australia armed with her singer sewing machine and a drive to find the truth. There is a raw honesty to be found in this portrayal of Tilly. I cannot think of anyone else who could have done it better.

Then we have the glimmering stars who are an absolutely perfect supporting cast. Liam Hemsworth is more than just white hot window dressing to the plotline. I loved seeing Rebecca Gibney and Hugo Weaving on the big screen, and then there’s the return of Shane Jacobson; I was a pig in mud. Out of them all though, my favourite character was Mad Molly played by Judy Davis.

If you’re planning on having a party like with Pricilla Queen of the Desert you can forget it. The frocks are magnificent and the soundtrack is mostly for ambience only. You will belly laugh and there are some seriously nice torso shots of that Hemsworth bod. But be prepared, take tissues. Bullying and the repercussions of decisions are the central themes, as are the notions of doing what you’re good at and moving on.

There’s less whimsy and more sucker punch to this magnificently presented film.

Run time is 118 minutes

If you end up seeing it and enjoy it please leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you thought.


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