The Dressmaker

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Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth in The Dressmaker.
Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth in The Dressmaker.
Photo: SK Pictures


The Dressmaker




3/5 Stars


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.


I have to start off by saying that this movie was completely not what I thought it would be and I absolutely loved it for that!

Going in I expected something mild but still enjoyable, I mean who won’t enjoy seeing Liam Hemsworth topless right? And having seen the trailer I was expecting to have already seen most of the ‘juicy’ parts. But wow, did I get a whole lot more than I bargained for!

Tilly Dunnage, portrayed by Kate Winslet is a seductive, a little unstable but also has a soft side beauty who returns to her small hometown to uncover secrets of the past and in turn rekindles relationships, falls in love and proves that revenge is sweeter than it should be.

Her mission is to remember why she was taken from the town she called home and when secrets start surfacing her drive and motivation to remember turns humorously dark and what follows are a series of unfortunate events that can only be explained by one thing and that is sweet revenge.

Kate really nailed her character. I was sceptical at first but she proves that she is a real badass and will have you rooting for her from the beginning. The emotions she takes you through range from hostility, humour, satire, heart break and more. At one point you’ll find yourself wrapped up in Tilly’s anger while still hoping she shows her softer side, and when she finally does you’ll be crying wishing she hadn’t.

Judy Davis – who plays Tilly’s mother “Mad Molly” - absolutely made the film as well. Not only did she gel perfectly with Kate but her witty and dirty mind played so well within the theme of the film. I was entertained in every one of her scenes and was missing her when she was off screen.

The elaborate contrasts of colours and outfits perfectly capture the difference between Tilly and the ‘low life’ folk that live in the home that once banished her. From dirty, dusty browns to bright reds and beautiful outfits, the wardrobe tied in with the tone of the film really well. It very rarely happens when even a dress that a character in a film is wearing can control my emotions the way it did in The Dressmaker

As good and surprising as the film was, there was one thing that bothered me - the apparent age gaps. As much as Jocelyn Moorhouse may have attempted to ‘hide’ Liam’s fresh-faced look the age gap between him as well as Kate’s ‘peers’ and Kate was quite evident.

Liam’s character, Teddy – who plays Tilly’s love interest - and Tilly are obviously within the same age range in the film as they went to school together but unfortunately Kate’s matured skill of acting doesn’t tie up to the younger cast.

While I believe Kate was perfect for her role as Tilly, I do feel as though Liam especially, could’ve been portrayed by a slightly more mature actor. However, with saying that, Liam did do a very good job at portraying the lovesick scruff that gets Tilly to let her guard down.

The Dressmaker will entertain you, make you cry and it might even educate on how to get revenge but if it doesn’t do any of that one thing is for sure. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, don’t give yourself credit just yet because the one thing it will do is surprise you with every twist!


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