Based on Rosalie Ham's best selling novel, The Dressmaker is the story of femme fatale Tilly Dunnage who returns to her small home town in the country to right the wrongs of the past. A stylish drama with comic undertones about love, revenge and haute couture.Written by
Kate Winslet learned to sew for her part. Following this, she assisted Margot Wilson in creating the costumes for her character. Wilson was exclusively hired to create the outfits for Winslet's character. See more »
Tilly smokes filter-tipped cigarettes. This type of cigarette was not available in Australia in 1951. Tilly was coming from France and may have brought the cigarettes with her, but even in Europe they were not common until 1954 when the machine for manufacturing filters became more broadly available. See more »
Banished from a remote and sparsely populated Australian town when she was ten, Tilly (Kate Winslet) returns many years later. Fresh from conquering the fashion world in Paris, Tilly's form fitting red dress turns heads immediately. Some say Tilly committed a horrible crime and was cursed for it. Tilly has come in order to better learn the truth about what really happened and to set things right. There are many things on her mind including determining her own guilt in the matter, her mother Molly who appears to be mad, lifting the curse, finding love and revenge, among other things.
Battle lines form. Many want Tilly to be guilty and cursed. They work to get her seen in the worst light. The haters may even include Tilly's mother Molly. Yet there are many who believe in Tilly. As she sets up a dress making shop and helps create new and better characters for people, her allies grow. The dresses she makes change how people see themselves and how others view them. It may not be Tilly who is cursed, rather it might be the town for the judgments that they heaped upon a girl.
At the heart of this wonderful film is the theme of how a few awful people make life so bad for others by their terrible and swift judgments. The film is set in the 1950s and is both serious and funny. P.J. Hogan is one of the best screenwriters. His stories are complex and full of amazing twists & turns. His insight into human nature, especially female characters, is spot-on. Added to the spell-binding writing is superb acting by Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and the others, the always intriguing back-drop of Australia, compelling themes and characters, and superb directing and organization. Of the 32 films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, this was the best.
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