When Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage returns to the rural small town in Australia where she grew up. She wants answers on what actually happened in her past and why she was really shipped out-of-town and reuniting with her mother Molly.
This film really isn’t what it first seems, I would even like to say that it has three different stages or parts to it. I will not be able to give a massive amount of detail to the different parts as that would contain spoilers, but I think it is important to know that this film takes a couple of different turns. It is not a massive romantic film either, although it does have a tiny bit. I thought that was going to be more too it from the trailers in all honesty and either way that would have been great.
As Tilly returned home we are quickly introduced to Sergeant Farrat who is a brilliant character it must be said. Played by the fantastic and underrated (in my opinion) Hugo Weaving, who really does have a lot of different things to work with and has some hilarious moments as well. That is one very good thing about this film, in one scene you could be laughing then the next tears in your eyes. I think that is the a mark of a good film to find the balance between the two things.
We are slowly told the story of Tilly as a child and the murder of a boy in her class that she was accused of committing. But she does not have any memory of doing it, this does take the majority of the film to find out the truth. It is well worth the wait in all honesty as it really does build it up so much and the tension of wanting to see what happened but having to wait. That’s a good thing as I think the story and Tilly’s character building would have been very different if we found out straight away.
It doesn’t take long for Tilly to gain a lot of attention from the whole town and in particular Teddy who does not deny his feelings for her. This is a difficult situation for Tilly as she believes she is cursed. I do realise how some of this may sound, but it works for the film and that is the main thing. Another hilarious character and some moments have to come from Molly her mother who is rightly nicknamed “Mad Molly” by everyone in the town. So another good performance coming from Judy Davis.
I have waited until now to mention just how good Kate Winslet is in this film. She totally nails all of it from start to finish, truly reminding me of why she is one of my favourite actresses and also wishing that she would get more good roles like this. I have just about forgot about Labor Day. Well almost, this film relies on her acting ability a hell of a lot as she really does hold it all together. Who else could wear those dresses and deliver the lines with such ease?
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that Tilly does actually make dresses for all of the women in the town. Possibly hoping that this may make them actually like her? Well you will have to see what happens with that one really. I also have to say that I was truly shocked and devastated with one of the turns as it was pretty brutal and so sad. I didn’t want to quite believe it, it was at that moment that I truly realised how consumed I was by this film.
Who can resist Kate Winslet in a leading role along with Hugo Weaving in support? Not forgetting about Liam Hemsworth who really did add another side to the story and that scene without his shirt on was very nice to watch as well. I do think he showed a little more range in this film than in other films I have previously seen him in. So I think you should go see The Dressmaker as you will be very surprised the way it goes and how much it manages to consume you.