Based on Rosalie Ham’s best selling novel, The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) who returns to her small home town in the Australian countryside to right the wrongs of the past. Returning to the drab village with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly soon has the locals clamouring for their own dresses but will they ever really forgive her for her actions as a child? As the story progresses we find out that when Tilly was young a boy died and she was the only witness. Blamed for his death Tilly had been sent away, but now 25 years later, she is back to find out the truth about the boy’s death and whether she really is the murderer they all believe her to be.
Having seen the trailer several times in the lead up to its release I was very excited to see this film. It looked very funny and Kate Winslet always gives a great performance. I am very pleased to say that this film exceeded my expectations! Although the storyline turned out to be very different to what I thought (it’s more of a dark comedy than a rom-com) I really enjoyed The Dressmaker. There were several moments where the whole cinema were laughing out loud as well as others which brought a more serious tone. Like I said the humour is quite dark so if you’re not into that kind of thing then you might not like that but there’s plenty of fabulous dresses to distract you!
Kate Winslet is excellent as Tilly, you immediately fall in love with her as she becomes determined to find out the truth to her past and then seek revenge on those who wronged her. Her relationship with her mother Molly (Judy Davis) is both funny and moving as the two try to patch up the relationship they lost when Tilly was taken away.
The rest of the cast are all brilliant from the stuck up Elsbeth (Caroline Goodall) who doesn’t want her precious son marrying beneath them to the dowdy Gertrude (Sarah Snook) who is transformed by Tilly into a beauty. The gorgeous Liam Hemsworth plays Teddy, who falls in love with Tilly but finds he must convince her to let him into her life – often done with no top on…
Overall, The Dressmaker is a stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and fashion. It’s a very different style of film to which we are used to seeing Kate Winslet in but she definitely pulls off the femme fatale character! I absolutely loved this film, it’s the first time I’ve actually laughed out loud several times in the cinema for a long time. I would definitely recommend it! (And for those into fashion, some of the dresses that Tilly wears/produces for others are simply fabulous!). The only slight thing that bothered me was that Kate, Gertrude and Teddy were all supposed to be roughly the same age and though Kate looks very good for her years I couldn’t help but think about the real 15 year gap between Kate and Liam. Not that it stopped their relationship in the film from being realistic, maybe I’m just jealous of Kate getting close to Liam…!