By Ryan Keating-Lambert
Aussie Film Fest presented a special screening of 2015’s The Dressmaker in Kino Lucerna last Friday in Prague and set the standards high for the upcoming festival from November 18-22. A promising introduction to the young festival with a well-received film that captures the spirit and weirdness of Australia.
I’m an Australian myself, and I must say that first and foremost the Aussie accent is really hard to replicate. Kate Winslet’s was impeccable though, as was her portrayal of the troublesome Myrtle who returns to her rural hometown where she supposedly once killed a boy. As you can expect, she isn’t exactly welcomed with open arms, not until the locals discover her gift for dressmaking. A brilliant cast in this one including Hugo Weaving as flamboyant police sergeant Farrat, Judy Davis as Myrtle’s hilarious mother Molly and Liam Hemsworth as the town heartthrob Teddy McSwiney.
Australia is known for its harsh landscapes and out of this world characters, and this film has all of that. The cinematography was stunning, as were the costumes. The music brought a sense of mischief and almost a Western feel to the whole town. Yes, I just said the word ‘western’ in a Kate Winslet film. This is a hybrid film unlike any other. It’s hilarious, dramatic, vengeful and even sickly violent and psychological at times. An original take on your typical film about the gossip and bitchiness of small towns. At times it felt as if I was watching an early Pedro Almodovar film with an Aussie larrikin twist. I couldn’t really find anything wrong with this film. A great experience. I feel that in the future this will be recognised as one of those classic films about strong independent women that you can watch over and over again, like The Help or Thelma and Louise.
The Dressmaker is already available on DVD and Bluray as well as for digital download.
I look forward to the Aussie Film Fest and seeing the diversity of culture that the program has to offer this year. No doubt it’ll be as successful as this film was in the stunning velký sál of Kino Lucerna last Friday. Watch this space for all the festival happenings in November.
Feature photo: YouTube