I have a suggestion for Peter Dutton, who is the Immigration and Border Protection Minster of Australia. Whenever a boat carrying “asylum seekers” is caught trying to reach our shores, he should screen for them “The Dressmaker”.
I guarantee that the boat people would beg the smugglers to turn the boat around and escape as far as possible from the image of Australia depicted in this film.
The setting for this Aussie production is the town of Dungatar which is made up of an extremely phony collection of sheds and outhouses. Its inhabitants look like escapees from a Bruegel painting, a bunch of weird caricatures. There aren’t many of them in the town of Dungapoo but we have the village idiot, the cross-dressing policeman, the demented mother of the dressmaker who is a hoarder, the sex-starved fatty, the mean rich man who bosses everyone around, all overacted by usually reputable Aussie actors.
Apparently, the producers needed a celebrity for the title role of Tilly Dunnage who has arrived to wreak havoc on the town that done her wrong by accusing her of murder. So they chose Kate Winslet. Alas, poor Kate. If only she had found a box of matches sooner and put us out of our misery long before the two hours of “The Dressmaker.”
Francis Bacon said that “revenge is a kind of wild justice” and boy does Tilly go wild. She outsews the opposition, cleans up her mother’s messy home, cures her mother’s madness, slims down The Biggest Loser by making her a new dress, finds out that the nasty man who drugs his wife and then has sex with her while she is knocked out, is actually Tilly’s father. Enough already.
In my defence, we were given these cinema tickets for free, but we overpaid! We stayed until the apocalyptic end because I could not believe that this film which other people said I should go see was not going to improve. Not even the town hunk who plays football can save this film.
Wouldn’t you think I would have learned my lesson by now?