Fashion never looked so good in Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth’s newest dramedy The Dressmaker: out September 23, 2016. The film follows Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, a young woman whom returns to her small Australian hometown seeking revenge. As a child Tilly was bullied, accused of murder, and then banished from her mother’s side by the same townspeople she will have to costume to figure out if she is really the killer they say. Tilly may have traveled the world to become a dressmaker, but she’s staying home to see if she is a murderess. Sounds intriguing? Well, it is.
The Dressmaker is based off the international bestseller, of the same name, by Rosalie Ham. The film is beautiful in cinematography as you watch the landscapes of Australia, and witness how even the stunning outback can hold the ugly people of Tilly’s hometown of Dungatar. When I say ugly, I mean it! Costume designers Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson do a phenomenal job to create costumes that exude Tilly’s glamorous talent as a dressmaker, but also counter the disgusting personalities she will have to dress to find out her truth. Characters like the horrible Gertrude Pratt (played by Sarah Snook) and the malicious Beula Harridan (played by Kerry Fox) will make your skin crawl with their vile behavior, and will make you question why Tilly cannot move on?
What makes the Dressmaker such a heartfelt film is that it shows how impactful meanness can be to a child even when they are grown-up. Winslet plays Tilly as strong and determined, but there is an inherent fragility to her that is obvious from the very moment she steps back into her hometown. The fact that she has returned, despite all her fashion industry accolades, is proof that the townspeople’s cruelty has impacted her life through her adulthood decisions. Thus, the costumes that each character wears are not just clothing, but the represented illusions we place upon ourselves to survive our surroundings. Whether it is red lipstick or a silvery gown, we put on a “face” to avoid confronting it. By the end of this film, audiences will be left cheering and even crying for Tilly as they empathize with her struggle to heal herself from the hurt caused by others. Although I have mentioned the spiritual heaviness of this film, it does have fun and hope.
Liam Hemsworth’s Teddy McSwiney is the epitome of a woman’s dream man. Yes. he is sexy, but beyond that he is kind. compassionate, and fiercely loyal to the ones he loves like Tilly. Hemsworth plays ones of his best performance by giving Teddy a layered sweetness that shows strength comes through vulnerability and an openness to love. Meanwhile Hugo Weaving’s Sergeant Farrat is subtly hilarious. He is a character many viewers will look to as an emblem that it is never too late to redeem one’s past mistakes towards another. Overall, Director Jocelyn Moorhouse has done well to create a film that will attract viewers through its glitz, but surprise them with its heart.
The Dressmaker comes out in theaters on September 23.