Movie Review : The Dressmaker


First things first. Yes Kate Winslet CAN do a convincing Aussie accent. If she hadn’t got that right, the entire movie would have been a great waste of time. Now to the review proper …

Myrtle ‘ Tilly ‘ Dunnage (Winslet) is returning home to the small rural town that cast her out many years ago. She is now a glamorous and successful dressmaker and she has come home to remember. Remember what? She was accused of the murder of the school bully sand was sent away at the age of 10 but she cannot recall the incident and it haunts her.

Her mother Molly (Davis) lives in the ramshackle, rundown house at the top of the hill and it is from here that Tilly strives to reconnect with her mother and seek revenge on those who hurt her as a child.

Tilly begins sewing haute couture gowns for the dowdy and dull towns women, turning the dry and dusty main street into a Paris fashion runway. This is how she makes her living and while she is sewing, she is trying to help her mother Molly regain her health and her sanity. Molly isn’t insane, just a little loopy.

Tilly also rekindles a romance with local Teddy (Hemsworth), a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who becomes Tilly’s only real ally.


This movie is nothing like the trailer so if you are expecting a rural romance, you will be disappointed. If you are familiar with the novel, you will know it is dubbed an Australian Gothic novel and this is an apt description. The revenge Tilly has on those who have done her wrong is deliciously evil and gothic.

There is something very dark and slightly sinister about Dungatar, Tilly’s home town. There are secrets beyond the secrets and Tilly wants to expose them all. And there is much, much more to this tale than I care to divulge so you will just have to go see it for yourself. 

I absolutely love, love, loved this movie. Winslet was gorgeous and mesmerising. Davis was beyond divine as the old hag Molly, camping it up just enough to make it hilariously good fun. Oh how I hope she does a Jacqui Weaver and snags an Oscar nod for her role as Molly because she outshone everyone. Hugo Weaving deserves a mention as the flamboyant transvestite cop who can be bought with a feather boa.

Don’t m iss this wonderful movie. As always, support our local industry so our stories like this one can be told by local film makers.

5 stars

Love Flick xx

Director : Jocelyn Moorhouse 

Starring : Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Judy Davis, Caroline Goodall, Kerry Fox, Rebecca Gibney, James, Mackay, Shane Jacobson, Gynton Grantley, Barry Otto, Julia Blake, Sacha Horler, Hayley Magnus

Running Time : 118 minutes

Release Date : In Cinemas Now

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