Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go (Movie Thoughts: The Dressmaker)

69cd7c7e6cf9f63168eb84a88ab0f481Kate Winslet has become one of my favorite actresses – she can be funny and serious on the same breath, and you believe both parts of her instantly. There’s an honesty in her performance and she can play anyone – period, modern, everything in between. I was mesmerized by her portrayal of Myrtle ‘Tilly’ Dunnage, the dressmaker who goes back to her hometown to seek revenge from the people who drove her away from town. And she is hilarious when the situation calls for it. Winslet  even rises above the tedious melodrama here. The film never strikes the right balance, though – the said melodrama can be extremely petty, and the black humor wasn’t catching me. I found myself rolling my eyes a couple of times. There are a lot of things that distract – Liam Hemsworth is male beauty personified here as her love interest, and there are great character performances by Hugo Weaving as the cross-dressing sheriff and Judy Davis as Tilly’s bitter mother. But almost all characters are written as cartoons, so when they are placed in soap opera situations,  they are not nearly as effective. I got bored through most of the film, and felt Winslet’s performance was wasted.

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