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The Dressmaker – A Bittersweet, Comedy-Drama

“You grew up.”

“You got old.”

Poignant, raw and unexpected, we saw a preview of The Dressmaker recently and are excited to see it finally come to the US.

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is an Australian bittersweet, comedy-drama movie set in early 1950s Australia. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, it was originally released in Australia in October 2015. Its finally coming to the US in limited release on September 23, 2016, with Broad Green Pictures co-distributing with Amazon.


The movie stars Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, a beautiful and talented misfit. A femme fatale and talented dressmaker, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage has worked for many years as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses. She returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to take care of her ailing, mentally unstable mother.


The film focuses on Tilly’s desire to right the wrongs of the past and reconciliation with her ailing and eccentric mother Molly. (JUDY DAVIS). Along the way, she unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy played by Liam Hemsworth. Armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in doing so gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Based on the novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham, the movie was produced by Sue Maslin, with a screenplay by Moorhouse. It won five AACTA awards in 2015:

  • Best Lead Actress
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Costume Design
  • People’s Choice Award for Favorite Australian Film

And the best line from the premiere in Australia from Hugo Weaving: “It’s funny, it’s dark and it’s not stupid.”

Release date:

  • September 23, 2016 – US

More Details:

  • Pre-release: September 14, 2015 – Toronto International Film Festival
  • Original release date: October 29, 2015 – Australia
  • Rating: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
  • Producer: Sue Maslin
  • Screenplay: Jocelyn Moorhouse
  • Running time:   118 minutes
  • Official movie website:  The Dressmaker



A work of shrill, campy excess as well as some pretty choice acting (especially from the always-welcome Judy Davis in a spry supporting role), Moorhouse’s adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s 2000 novel may lead audiences to expect a primmer, more well-behaved movie based on its title alone, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have them in stitches.” – Justin Chang, Chief Film Critic, Variety

“The Dressmaker is about as far from essential viewing as one could imagine, but, for all its brightly glaring flaws, much of it qualifies as a glossy, goofy guilty pleasure.” – Hollywood Reporter

Kate Winslet, Academy Award® Winner*
Judy Davis, Academy Award® Nominee*, Golden Globe® Winner**
Liam Hemsworth
Hugo Weaving


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