Cert: 12A / 118 mins / Dir. Jocelyn Moorhouse / Trailer
This film, (this 12A certificated film) was preceded by not one, but two separate adverts for gin. Never let it be said that either Entertainment Film Distributors nor Digital Cinema Media don't know their intended audience…
Kate Winslet stars in The Dressmaker as Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage, a fashion designer who returns unannounced to the dilapidated home-town she was removed from as a child, looking for answers, connections and perhaps a little bit of revenge. Director Jocelyn Moorhouse captures the claustrophobia, paranoia and squalor of the film's sole setting with suffocating glee, and with the screenplay's humour shining through the blackest moments. However, the film seems torn between wanting to be funny and meaningful. It's not that there's any reason it can't be both, it just has issues balancing them.
Winslet is great in the film's lead role, but it's really Judy Davis as her eccentric mother who steals the show in terms of both performance and character development. And I'll go on record now as saying that Hugo Weaving is nothing short of fucking magnificent in this film.
The Dressmaker is far better at being a genuinely quirky indie-comedy than it is a homecoming melodrama. And although it ploughs both furrows with equal earnestness, the screenplay never quite manages to merge them successfully. With an alarmingly high body-count for a 12A movie set in rural Australia and featuring no firearms, the humorous vein is far more interesting than the ponderous one of poetic justice.
But fair play for the references to X-Men, Pet Cemetary and The Empire Strikes Back. There aren't many films set in the 1951 Australian outback that would manage those so seamlessly…
For the right audience, yes.
Sunday night, bottle of wine, sorted.
For Kate Winslet, not really.
But I'll be amazed if Hugo Weaving doesn't get some major props…
I think it does, it's just not a thing which was aimed at me in any way.
Well, Hugo Weaving appeared in those Matrix movies, of course, one of which starred fellow Aussie Bruce Spence; Tion Medon from out of Revenge Of The Sith.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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