Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Dressmaker (2015) is a lot of fun

Jocelyn Moorhouse's THE DRESSMAKER is a great deal of fun. You have to get on it's twisted vibe, but if you do its a funny romance, revenge film with a very dark side. It's Sunny Came Home meets HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER in fabulous clothes.

Kate Winslet plays Myrtle 'Tilly' Dunnage who returns to her jerkwater town after 25 years away. She's the title character who is returning home to try and piece together why she was sent away, could she have murdered someone? The ton thinks she did, and they don't ant here there until her dressmaking abilities begin to change their minds...of course the sins of the past are lurking and things are not going to be rosy.

Gloriously off kilter with crazy characters, Tilly's mom (Judy Davis) is believed to be mad and a raging drunk, the local cop (Hugo Weaving) is a closet cross dresser, the school teacher is a sadist, the druggist is cruel hunchback and so on. You know early on that all is not well with the good people as we see or have inferred rape, spousal abuse and just human cruelty. They also love to wear Tilly's clothes all day every day.

The film walks that fine line between should I be laughing or not and it takes awhile before you realize it's okay. Even when things turn bleak towards the end there are still some laughs to be had. I'm not sure the audience I saw this with got the joke since many were deadly quiet while a few of us laughed happily.

The film itself is bittersweet with a dark turn in the final third, which I know bothered some friends who had seen earlier screenings. I don't think being warned helped me as much as being tuned into the cruelties happening under the surface. Even some of the gags hid a nastiness underneath.

I absolutely loved the film to pieces- way more than I ever expected.

The film hits theaters Friday and I expect it to hit Amazon Streaming soon after since they are part producer of the film.

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