The Dressmaker (2015)
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Critic Reviews for The Dressmaker
Often evoking the dark humour of a Beckett play, with its world a relatively plausible representation of an unforgiving and tragic universe.
Director Moorhouse co-wrote with her husband P.J. Hogan, the brains behind the lean, sleek Muriel's Wedding, but this effort seems tone-deaf by comparison.
With Myrtle inexplicably running up haute couture outfits for the locals as part of her unclear scheme, the film is as superficial as a catwalk parade.
The Dressmaker could've been a strange gem if it didn't fail at pretending to be so many other things. [Full review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for The Dressmaker
Unclear about what it wants to be, Dressmaker wavers thematically between wronged-youth-returns-to-better-backward-town redemptive or the ever popular let's-get-the-mongoloids-that-got-us revenge classic (always a popular favorite). It's these jarring shifts in perspective that make the piece hard to accept and one feels a touch manic by the ending. Before that though there are pieces that threaten beauty ... were they left alone.
I watched what could be considered some very strange films at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I don't think any of them were as weird or out there as Jocelyn Moorhouse's The Dressmaker. This movie, you guys, is completely bonkers. You wouldn't think so given the look of the header photo above and the fact it stars such credible and well-respected actors as Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving and Judy Davis, but once this thing gets rolling it is both surprising and distracting as to how ridiculous it gets. As I watched the events of the film unfold I couldn't help but to keep writing down again and again how I couldn't believe they were going where they were going and yet, the film kept going...one step further. Now, to be clear, this isn't strange or ridiculous in the sense of bombastic violence or discussing things typically taboo for everyday discussion, but more in the sense of general absurdities. Having not directed a film in nearly twenty years and operating strictly in Australia this would seem to be a fine opportunity to return for Moorhouse and there is plenty of stuff to have fun with here despite the fact I wasn't able to get on board with all of it. With Winslet leading the charge (though she seems slightly miscast) Moorhouse and her ensemble of misfits that make up this small town in Australia endeavor to deliver a perfectly cheeky little screwball comedy that is able to hold a slight amount of substance rather than being completely flippant.
read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
This was exceedingly surprising and turned out to be a great film. A typical mother-daughter revenge story that is both bittersweet and funny, often very funny at times. Definitely better than I thought it would be in terms of Australian films but when it is written by Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hogan you know it will be better than most.
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