Sounds complicated right? Well, it is.
Firstly, here's the trailer -
So here are the pluses -
- A half naked Liam Hemsworth - an easy rec there, right? Check.
- A magnificent Judy Davis playing the role of hag. Check.
- Kate Winslet doing a pretty good Aussie (IMHO). Check.
- Amazing outback scenery that is so incredibly rich and incredibly accurate. Check.
- Fashion to make you swoon. Check.
- An Australian film that is delightfully understated and yet not. Check.
- Quirk central. Check.
BUT. And this is a very big but. A couple of things happen in quick succession about half way through (no spoliers, although one wasn't entirely unexpected) that left me so bloody outraged I almost walked out of the cinema. Seriously, I was soooo close.
"No, no, no! How can they do this?" I wailed to my movie companion. I was soooo angry. Furious! Incensed! I've never read the book but I figured it had stayed fairly true to the story here (a fact later confirmed) and if the author had been in the cinema I think I may just have......I dont know...slapped her? Certainly demanded she go back to her computer and make it right because if I'd been reading it this is the place I would have thrown the book against the wall!
But, here's the thing, the ending was so brilliantly, magnificently vengeful (I was cheering so hard) that, as a storyteller, I knew I couldn't have one without the other. If the awful stuff in the middle hadn't happened, the ending would have been very different and the movie would have been the poorer. And it wasn't until I got to the end that I realised how subtle the layering of the plot and the intertwining of the threads actually is. The author/scriptwriter weaved them altogether with such a goassamer hand I want to go back and see it again to pick up on all the gorgeous subtlety.
So yeh....complicated. I've never been so torn by a movie. Ever.
My overall thoughts? I laughed. I cried. Man did I cry. Buckets of tears. But I cheered also. Hands down one of the best endings ever. Should you go see it? The romance writer in me wants to say no but it was so damn good I find myself recommending it despite myself. I know its only on a limited release outside Australia but if you're after something quirky and funny and different that's heart wrenching and delightfully, spitefully uplifting all in one I think it's worth a look.
Oh, and did I mention a half-naked Liam Hemsworth?
Have you seen The Dressmaker? Did you like it, love it, hate it? Would you recommend it? Ever seen a film where you wanted to walk out halfway through because it was just so damn crushing?
PS - All my Outback Heat series is now out in the world. They can be purchased at Amazon for $2.99 each and should be across all digital platforms soon!