Film Review: The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker is an amusing comedy drama which offers good performance.

Dress designer Tilly Dunnage returns to her small hometown in Australia for the first time since her childhood. With her stylish wardrobe and talent for design, Tilly certainly turns heads. However, Tilly must confront a trauma from her past…

Based on Rosalie Ham’s novel, The Dressmaker tells the story of an accomplished designer returning to her small childhood home after many years away. Director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s film offers several strands, combining drama with comedy and mystery.

The central narrative in The Dressmaker focuses on Tilly’s return to her hometown and her reasons for leaving many years before. This aspect of the story affords the film an aspect of mystery. The exact details of what happened when Tilly was a girl are not revealed until a good way into the film. Yet, the mystery of the incident is not the crux of The Dressmaker; there is significant action that takes place after the reveal is made.

Other strands concentrate on Tilly’s relationship with her mother, a love interest, and a thirst for revenge. Some of these strands work better than others. The mother-daughter relationship is well-written and well-cultivated. The relationship develops at a good pace, and feels as if it reaches a satisfying conclusion. The love story is less convincing, however. Given the other incidents that occur in The Dressmaker, the love story could have been substituted for something platonic. The film begins as a mystery drama with comedy flecks, and ends up somewhere else by the finale.

Costumes and styling in The Dressmaker are eye-catching. Kate Winslet offers as competent a performance as ever, whilst Judy Davis is a scene-stealer. Hugo Weaving amuses in a supporting role, but Liam Hemsworth is given little depth to his character.

The Dressmaker can feel a little overlong, but for the most part the film entertains. The tone is certainly amiable.

Previews: Alice Through The Looking Glass and more!

A visual feast in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including Alice Through The Looking Glass, Sisters, and By The Sea

Alice Through The Looking Glass Trailer

Here is the first at upcoming sequel Alice Through The Looking Glass. Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast return for the follow-up to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland. Alice Through The Looking Glass is directed by James Bobin, whose work on the last two Muppet films is certainly a good sign. Alice Through The Looking Glass is set for release in the UK on 27th May 2016.

Sisters Poster

Sisters Poster

Sisters is the latest venture to reunite Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The film is about two disconnected sisters who return to their family home to clear out their childhood bedroom. Directed by Pitch Perfect‘s Jason Moore, Sisters will hit UK screens on 18th December, with previews from 12th December 2015.

The Good Dinosaur Clip

This just looks magical. The Good Dinosaur poses the question of what if the dinosaurs never became extinct. The notion looks rather wonderful in the film, although I do wonder if in reality in would be some horrible Jurassic Park type situation. The Good Dinosaur is out in UK cinemas on 27th November 2015.

By The Sea Featurette

Angelina Jolie speaks about her ideas behind By The Sea. The film is written, directed and stars Jolie, alongside husband Brad Pitt. She states that she has been influenced by European cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, and audiences will be able to see for themselves when By The Sea is released on 11th December 2015.

The Dressmaker Trailer

The Dressmaker stars Kate Winslet as a designer who returns to her childhood small town in Australia. Also starring Judy Davis and Liam Hemsworth, the comedy drama is based on Rosalie Ham’s bestselling novel. The Dressmaker is out in UK cinemas on 20th November 2015.

The Revenant Poster

The Revenant

Is this the film that will get Leonardo DiCaprio his coveted Oscar? The Revenant tells the story of Hugo Glass, a man left for dead in uncharted territory. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the film also stars Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Lucas Haas. The Revenant hits UK screens in January 2016.

Dirty Grandpa

Zac Efron stars as the straight-laced groom to be on a road trip with his recently windowed grandfather in comedy Dirty Grandpa. Robert De Niro’s grandfather is not quite the kindly old gentleman however. Also starring Aubrey Plaza, Dirty Grandpa is set for release on 22nd January 2016.

Film Review: T.S. Spivet

T.S. Spivet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s adaptation of Reif Larson’s novel is a disarming film. T.S. Spivet is a wonderful adventure.

Young T.S. Spivet lives with his beetle-obsessed mother, cowboy father and teenage sister on a ranch in Montana. T.S. is invited to the Smithsonian on account of winning a prize for his invention. He deliberates making the trip without the knowledge of his family…

T.S. Spivet works marvellously well as an adventure; with moments of drama and humour that are finely executed. The film is successful thanks to its rich story, and storytelling. It is meaty enough for audiences to enjoy the adventure, while the quirkiness makes T.S. Spivet stand out.

The film effectively balances comedy with a genuinely emotional strand. T.S. Spivet can successfully flip from humour to drama whilst retaining a feeling of sincerity. The emotional strand gives the protagonist more depth. T.S. is more than simply a child genius; he has layers which make him more human, and thus more relatable.

T.S. Spivet has a level of quirkiness that those familiar with the work of director Jean-Pierre Jeunet will not be surprised at. The narration of T.S. works well in order to give the audience a really personal perspective of the events and relationships. Characters are wonderfully drawn, with even the smaller roles being memorable.

On paper, T.S. Spivet does not seem like a typical film that would be screened in 3D. Nonetheless, the film works well in this format, particularly with the more whimsical scenes. The cinematography and art direction work well to give the film a distinctive look.

Helena Bonham Carter is great as Dr Clair. Judy Davis clearly has a lot of fun with her outlandish character. It is Kyle Catlett who steals the show, however. The young actor delivers a superb performance as young T.S..

Direction, cinematography and a great screenplay combine to ensure that T.S. Spivet is an impressive and enjoyable film.