Kate Winslet plays The Dressmaker

Kate Winslet plays The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker brings haute couture to the Outback

The Vernon Film Society screens The Dressmaker, the latest feature from writer-director Jocelyn Moorhouse.

For its second film of the new fall season, the Vernon Film Society screens The Dressmaker, the latest feature from writer-director Jocelyn Moorhouse.

This tale of love and vengeance in the mid-1950s stars Kate Winslet as a worldly dressmaker returning to the Australian town that exiled her.

Tilly Dunnage arrives in the small town of Dungatar like a gunslinger, broad-brimmed hat on her head, sleek pumps on her feet, and her trusty Singer sewing machine at her side.

Driven away when she was only 10 for supposedly committing a heinous crime, the resilient Tilly found her way to Paris, where she trained under the legendary designer Madeleine Vionnet.

She returns to Australia to look after her ailing mother, Molly (Judy Davis), but her form-fitting dresses soon have the town turning heads, particularly that of the town’s star rugby player (Liam Hemsworth).

When Tilly is hired to make haute couture for the more rebellious local ladies, battle lines are drawn. Some love Tilly’s progressive style while others are far more conservative. As tension escalates, Tilly’s shadowy past becomes her enemies’ most potent weapon.

Director Moorhouse, in an adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s 2000 novel,  infuses The Dressmaker with a perfect blend of glamour and edginess, generating laughter and intrigue right up to the explosive finale.

“Winslet has just the right mix of chutzpah and vulnerability to make her Tilly a credible and dynamic character,” said  Andrew L. Urban, with Urban Cinefile.

The Dressmaker screens Monday, Oct. 17 at the Vernon Towne  Cinema at the regular times of 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available one week ahead at the Towne Theatre and the Bean Scene for $7 (cash only).