Good day to you ladies and gents, today I have a review for you and it will be on The Dressmaker. This was a film I was curious about from the trailer I saw in the cinema a few weeks back, but now that I’ve experienced it just a few hours ago I’m doing my review on it now before Bridge of Spies because I have much to say about the film.
“In 1951, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage returns to her hometown of Dungatar, to take care of her ill mother, Molly. Tilly was sent out of town at the age of ten because of false accusations of murder. Tilly, an expert dressmaker, transforms the locals with her couture creations and in the process, exacts revenge on the people who wrongly accused her of murder all those years ago.”
The story in this film is a bit of mess. This is a tale of revenge but it is executed in the strangest way, from the first 10-20 minutes, I felt like I was watching a Wes Anderson film in terms of the blend of comedy and drama, odd setting and really strange, larger-than-life characters. But this film didn’t have Anderson’s sense of style, comedic timing or bizarre, yet whimsical charm. The first problem was with the tone, it didn’t know how to find the middle ground between the humour and emotion, it switched between both and sometimes its done at the worst possible moment ruining certain scenes altogether. There are moments in between the tonal shifts where the story was funny, mysterious, suspenseful and emotional, but they were few and far between unfortunately. Oh and the film went on for far too long, whether it was finding out the main mystery behind the main character or tieing up loose ends in the film’s final moments, I just got bored. I was sure the film was going to end around 30-40 minutes beforehand, but it just kept going, got more ridiculous and less engaging and by the film’s finale I was less than satisfied and that annoyed me because I was really getting into it around the first half.
At least the performances were solid. Kate Winslet was great as Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage, this character was tough and cool, but also vulnerable and Winslet was very engaging and charismatic in this role… And it has to be said that she looked incredible in this film, Winslet has never caught my eyes the way she did in this film, she was incredibly sexy in those dresses, sorry but it had to be said. Judy Davis was also great as Molly Dunnage, this lady was very blunt, rude, annoying and strange, but she was also quite humourous and interesting, but that was more down to Davis’ performance more than anything else. Liam Hemsworth as Teddy McSwiney was nice, there wasn’t much to his character early on, but once he starts to get involved with Tilly he became a little more interesting. Hemsworth was a beautiful man in this film (yeah I said it), I just wish his character had been handled differently. Oh and Hugo Weaving as Sergeant Horatio Farrat, wow, this must be the most different kind of role I’ve seen from him yet. This was the most unconventional police officer I’ve ever seen, but that was what made him so much fun to watch and Weaving was certainly memorable in the role. Besides Gyton Grantley as Barney McSwiney (anto some degree Sarah Snook as Gertrude “Trudy” Pratt), everyone else was pretty forgettable or unlikable from the beginning. These other eccentric characters had moments of interest, but most of them were mean-spirited and untrustworthy. I also have to give quick mention about the costume design by Marion Boyce, the use of colour and style of the multiple dresses worn was absolutely incredible.
In conclusion The Dressmaker was one of the most random films I’ve seen in the cinema in quite some time, the lead performances were great and the costume design was incredible and there were moments when I was enjoying the wacky nature of the film. However, the story was too bloated with irrelevant material involving other characters, and if this had been a simple revenge story with a consistent tone, streamlined plot and cut down runtime it would have been SO much better.
So have you seen The Dressmaker and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀