Movie Reviews

The Dressmaker (2015) – Film & Wine Club

the-dressmaker-movie-review-2015Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Julia Blake, Shane Bourne, Caroline Goodall, Hayley Magnus, Sarah Snook, Kerry Fox

Plot: After being sent away from her small hometown years ago, Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returns for revenge. Along the way she tries to reconcile with her mother and also find out what really happened on that fateful day, with the help of Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), who she falls in love with.

My Thoughts: This my third and final pick for mine and my parents’ Film & Wine Club, and I was really hoping I’d earnt their trust in picking good movies because this one was quite an ‘out there’ choice. If you’ve seen The Dressmaker before you know how bonkers it is, and if you haven’t, then you really should. There’s romance, there’s drama, there’s mystery, and it’s funny too. Just like how Fight Club isn’t about fighting, The Dressmaker isn’t about dress-making. We’re all riding the high from Mare of Easttown too so I was looking forward to it, although we did learn that my Dad has held a grudge against Kate Winslet ever since Titanic. He’s never forgiven her, apparently.

The characters are what makes this movie so great. From Tilly herself, arriving in the town dressed to the nines, with an “I’m back, you bastards”, to Hugo Weaving’s fashion-loving policeman, to the despicable townspeople – there isn’t a single one of them that just blends into the scenery, they all have great presence. There’s never a dull moment, either. With so many things going on, the time flies by. Just like Tilly, we want to find out what happened to that boy all those years ago. We also want to see the rest of their town get comeuppance, and for Tilly to finally find some happiness.

Where do I go from here? We’ve got two films left in the hat, the next one is my Dad’s last pick, Goodfellas (1990), and the final one is my Mum’s last pick, which she’s already forgotten so that’ll be a mystery to us all. It’s been so much fun though that we’re going to carry on, and so now I’m trying to decide what 3 movies to introduce them to next.

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Best Bit: Obviously the moment where Tilly finally remembers what happened when she was a child was great – but my absolute favourite bit is Tilly’s mum joining in on her date with Teddy. It’s just too funny. That, or any moment that Hugo Weaving is lusting over fabric. He’s definitely a scene stealer.

Worst Bit: *SPOILERS* I’ve only seen the movie once when it was first released, so I’d forgotten most of the smaller details and twists, but one thing I could never forget was poor Teddy in the silo. It was one of the most shocking moments in a lot of movies, because I really thought him and Tilly could be together and that would be the happy ending. It still had one of course, but Teddy!

Fun Trivia: Kate Winslet and Judy Davis had a hard time keeping a straight face while filming the scene where Liam Hemsworth strips off to get a measurement. (Didn’t we all!)

My Rating: Four and a half Singer sewing machines, the finest machines around.

the-dressmaker-movie-singer-sewing-machine

Movie Reviews

Blind Spot Series: The Matrix (1999)

the-matrix-1999-blind-spot-movie-reviewDirector: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 136 Minutes

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Joe Pantoliano, Marcus Chong, Julian Arahanga, Matt Doran, Belinda McClory

Plot: Set in the future, Neo learns about the true nature of his reality and his role in fighting the war against its controllers.

My Thoughts: This month’s Blind Spot pick couldn’t have been more perfect, I’m about to see John Wick: Chapter 3 again because I loved it so much and I can feel a Keanu Reeves obsession coming on. The Matrix has been the movie so many friends and family mention to me and they can’t believe I’ve never seen it. Honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t either but it’s so famous I guess I thought I knew all about it and there wasn’t any point. Neo’s the one, everyone can run up walls, none of us are real, etc, etc. I was only partly right, I guess.

So us humans are real, but the world we know and live in is actually just a simulation, that’s the gist. It’s an absolutely crazy idea, and I spent a lot of the movie questioning things and expecting to find gaping plot holes, but it’s absolutely solid, which shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did because there’s obviously a reason The Matrix is such a widely-loved movie.

The action and fight scenes are really cool, and I bet they were exhilarating in 1999 but they don’t shine as much 20 years later. That said, I’m comparing it to John Wick’s fight scenes which were a step above all other action movies anyway! I mean let’s face it, from a technical point of view, no Sci-Fi movie 20 years old is going to stand up as well in the current year, but it doesn’t distract from the story at all.

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I honestly enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would, and now I’m curious – what are the other movies like? From what I hear they aren’t good but I don’t care about ‘critic’ opinions, I trust you guys. My husband says his biggest unpopular opinion is that the third movie is his favourite of the franchise!

Best Bit: GUNS. LOTS OF GUNS. I knew it was coming, but it was so funny when it actually happened. Apologies to everyone else seeing John Wick: Chapter 3 tonight because I might just scream ‘YEEEEAAAAAAAH’ when that moment happens again.

Worst Bit: I know it’s unfair but it’s like I said, it hasn’t aged well. Although I do miss those flip phones. When you were having an argument on the phone it was so satisfying to snap the phone shut to hang up, and you don’t get the same effect with these touch screens…

Fun Trivia: After the lobby shoot-out, the camera pans back, showing the aftermath of the gunfight in the lobby. During this, a piece of one of the pillars falls off. This happened by coincidence during the filming, and was not planned, but was left, since it seemed appropriate.

My Rating: 4 red pills, although I personally might have taken the blue pill and lived in ignorant bliss!

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blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.