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Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Dressmaker (2015)

In 1951, a young woman (Kate Winslet) returns from Paris to the squalid small town in the Australian outback she grew up in. She was sent away under mysterious circumstances and now she has returned to find the town hasn't changed, it's still as nasty and petty as ever. Hell hath no fury and revenge can be sweet! Based on the novel by Rosalie Ham and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, this may well be the best revenge movie since Clint Eastwood's HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (1973). Curiously, it opened last year in some parts of the world like Australia (winning several awards including best actress for Winslet) and Great Britain and earlier this year in Spain and Italy without playing the U.S. It's scheduled to open here in September. I hope it does well because it's a splendid mix of black comedy and heartbreaking drama with Winslet once again showing why she's one of the best actresses of her generation. Moorhouse, who co-wrote the script with her husband P.J. Hogan (MURIEL'S WEDDING), gives the movie a smart unsentimental push without once going all Oprah "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different" Winfrey on us. With Judy Davis in a killer performance as Winslet's dotty mother, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving and Caroline Goodall.

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