The Dressmaker (12)
When an haute-coutured Kate Winslet sets a portable sewing machine in the dust and mutters, “I’m back you bastards”, expect fireworks. Writer/director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s spicy take on Rosalie Ham’s beloved novel stars Winslet as Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage, a glamorous exile returning in 1951 to Dungatar, the dusty, gossip-ridden town of her birth in the Aussie outback. She’s there to settle a score, but her mother Mad Molly (Judy Davis in a superbly nuanced performance) doesn’t remember having a daughter while the chief of police (Hugo Weaving) is distracted by her flamboyant attire. Tilly is a Parisian-trained seamstress, surviving with the flick of a stitch and uses that to her advantage with the locals. Her romance with the very physical Liam Hemsworth is idealised, though, while the townsfolk – some of Australia’s best supporting actors – are surreal caricatures. Still, despite its levity and wild shifts in tone, The Dressmaker is a heartbreaking tragicomedy. It’s also imaginative, funny, colourful, poignant and unforgettable.
Stars: Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook
Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Date of event:15th September 2016