The Dressmaker Film Review

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The Dressmaker will leave the vintage fashion-obsessed weak at the knees. The couture frocks are set against a true Australian backdrop which, although at times ridiculous, provokes a humourous take on how fashion can transform.

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, the opening scene features a fierce Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) stepping out of a blue bus with her Singer sewing machine.

Her character is a misfit, clearly well travelled, educated and sure of herself. Well, that's what it seems until it's obvious that she is on a quest to solve her own mystery. The curse of which is the painful and forgotten memories of possibly killing someone in her childhood.

Though the town despises her for a tragedy in which they believe Tilly caused as a youngster, they can't go past her amazing creations and talent. As she mends the towns unfashionable appearance the colourful folk become her ridiculously glamorous, walking mannequins. Think frocks, frocks and lots of frocks. A daily runway show in the dirty, dusty town of Dungatar.

As the plot unravels, Tilly is on the desperate hunt to find the truth behind the murder and along the way she falls in love with Teddy McSwiney (Liam Hemsworth).


In a particular scene, the local football hero shows off his killer abs as Tilly measures and fits him for a custom suit. His tanned, chiseled body and deep blue eyes added to the breathtaking moment where he whispers sweet nothings in her ear.

There is however an obvious flaw in the cast as the 11 year real-life age gap is too apparent considering Hemsworths and Winslets characters grew up together.

Judy Davis plays Molly, the crazy mother who injects her fun, hilarious, moody and surprising wit to the story. Her impressive performance helps to link the madness while preventing any form of boredom.


The film is exactly what it seems to be, Tilly turns a boring town into a stylish spectacle which is left to burn. Her curvaceous figure, bold red lips and cigarette in hand adds to her mysterious character.

The Dressmaker's tone is all over the place. The frocks are gorgeous but the dramatic elements of the film don't flow naturally. It's a jaggard story structure and just like a true bias cut it will look flawless to begin with but as it drops you will be shocked with the unexpected length of the fabric.