“The Dressmaker” splits at its seams

This here was my first movie review, not a top 10 list or anything, but a real review of a new movie. At first it was a bit nerve-wracking (yet, when am I not anxious?) because I was unsure how different it would be from writing about books. Quickly I found out that it’s practically the same feel and I got to my reviewing. I’m pretty proud of how this came out, especially since I was a bit freaked to write a negative review for the first time. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the film was the fact I was the only person under 50 in a small theater that wasn’t even half-filled. “The Dressmaker” is Jocelyn Moorhouse’s film adaptation of the novel “The Dressmaker” by Rosalie Ham. The movie skirts the line between clichéd and predictable, though the setting is interesting and picturesque in its own way.

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Liam Hemsworth and Kate Winslet play a couple even with the 15 year age gap

Opening in an Australian backwater town during the 1950s, the movie introduces Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, a glamorous seamstress who returns to her childhood home to enact vengeance using
fashion. For the first 15 minutes, I sat there in confusion as I tried to connect the dots between the inconsistent plot line, murky flashbacks and Cinderella-like dress transformations.

From what I was able to derive as the main plot, Tilly returns to her amnesiac mother ‘Mad Molly,’ played by Judy Davis, after being banished 20 years prior for the murder of a boy she has no recollection of. During her quest to figure out if she is the killer everyone has labeled her, Tilly finds love with the only Adonis-looking man in town, Teddy McSwiney, who is played by Liam Hemsworth.

This murder mystery is supposedly the central focus of the film, but the drama gets lost behind layers of forced romance, chuckle-worthy humor and pretty dresses. It plays as a mix of fashion and style but quickly comes apart at the seams, entering into the realm of a quirky black-comedy that will only stay as another title for Winslet to add to her IMDb page. 

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