The Dressmaker

Critics Consensus

The Dressmaker boasts a strong central performance by Kate Winslet and a captivating array of narrative weirdness -- all of which may or may not be a comfortable fit with viewers.



Total Count: 133


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,885
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Movie Info

The Dressmaker tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Academy Award winner Kate Winslet). After years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly (Academy Award nominee Judy Davis). She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), and armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong


Kate Winslet
as Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage
Liam Hemsworth
as Teddy McSwiney
Hugo Weaving
as Sergeant Farrat
Sarah Snook
as Gertrude 'Trudy' Pratt
Judy Davis
as Molly Dunnage
Julia Blake
as Irma Almanac
Shane Jacobson
as Alvin Pratt
Kerry Fox
as Beulah Harridiene
Rebecca Gibney
as Muriel Pratt
James MacKay
as William Beaumont
Gyton Grantley
as Barney McSwiney
Barry Otto
as Percival Almanac
Sacha Horler
as Una Pleasance
Hayley Magnus
as Prudence
Alison Whyte
as Marigold Pettyman
Shane Bourne
as Evan Pettyman
Olivia Sprague
as Young Gertrude
Geneviève Lemon
as Mae McSwiney
Muriel Pratt
as Rebecca Gibney
Tracy Harvey
as Lois Pickett
Simon Maiden
as Photographer
Terry Norris
as Septimus
Rory Potter
as Stewart Pettyman
Darcey Wilson
as Young Tilly
Mark Leonard Winter
as Reginald Blood
Amanda Woodhams
as Nancy Pickett
Eric Beach
as Ancient Drover
Ed McSwiney
as Stan Lehman
Stan Leman
as Ed McSwiney
Madeleine Hogan
as Elizabeth McSwiney
Sage Barreda
as Margaret McSwiney
Caroline Lee
as Fashionable Relative
Gregory Quinn
as Detective
Geneviève Picot
as Mrs. Tobin
Margot Knight
as Mrs. Wood
Jason Buckley
as Theatre Manager
Fletcher Humphrys
as Ticket Collector
Lucy Moir
as Young Molly
Katia Nizic
as Theatre Patron
Spike Hogan
as Theatre Patron
Grace Rosebirch
as Young Nancy
Alex DeVos
as Young Barney
Roy Barker
as Doctor
Judah Hobbs
as Boy in Wheat
Lanie Lane
as Singer
Sandra Talty
as Drummer
Howard Cairns
as Saxophone Player
Malcolm Cole
as Piano Player/Organist
Simon Farrow
as Winyerp Footballer
Richard Anastasios
as Winyerp Footballer
Mike Snow
as Dungatar Footballer
Adrienne Pickering
as Dungatar Footballer
Charlotte Friels
as Football Fan
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News & Interviews for The Dressmaker

Critic Reviews for The Dressmaker

All Critics (133) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (59)

Audience Reviews for The Dressmaker

  • Feb 23, 2016
    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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 09, 2016
    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.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2015
    Could have gone either way with this one, but glad I stuck with it. Very original, and I loved all the beautiful dresses.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 21, 2015
    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 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
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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