Aussie film all sewn up

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - VICKY ROACH

THE hotly an­tic­i­pated first trailer for the Aus­tralian pe­riod drama The Dressmaker, star­ring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, has just lobbed – and it doesn’t dis­ap­point.

While the screen chem­istry be­tween the at­trac­tive lead­ing cou­ple burns hot­ter than the ra­di­a­tor of a sun­baked Holden on a midsummer’s af­ter­noon, they are very nearly up­staged by vet­eran ac­tress Judy Davis, who as Winslet’s mother gets some of the best lines.

“A mur­derer and a les­bian,’’ she calls her daugh­ter tartly.

Winslet plays a high- fly­ing in­ter­na­tional dress de­signer who re­turns to her out­back Aus­tralian home af­ter leav­ing in a cloud of gos­sip. Winslet shows off a flaw­less Aussie ac­cent in the trailer.

Ris­ing Aus­tralian star Sarah Snook is not over­shad­owed in a jaw- drop­ping, ugly duck­ling trans­for­ma­tion.

Di­rec­tor Jocelyn Moor­house de­scribes her latest film, a tale of love, re­venge and haute cou­ture set in the 1950s, as Un­for­given with a sewing ma­chine.

Rather than a six- shooter, the lead char­ac­ter ( Winslet) wields her vintage Singer to sim­i­larly dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect.

“She does it quite de­lib­er­ately to en­able her to get the in­for­ma­tion she needs to piece to­gether the puzzles of the past,’’ said pro­ducer Sue Maslin.

While the heat and dust posed sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges for the cos­tume depart­ment while the pro­duc­tion was on lo­ca­tion around Castle­maine and Hor­sham in coun­try Vic­to­ria, it was the ac­tors who felt it most.

“All the ac­tresses were wear­ing pe­riod corsetry. So the level of de­tail … well, what you see vis­i­bly is matched by what they are wear­ing un­der­neath and that cer­tainly had its chal­lenges in the heat,’’ said Maslin.

Hav­ing al­ready filmed Holy Smoke ( 1999) with Jane Cam­pion in re­mote South Aus­tralia, Os­car- win­ning ac­tress Winslet knew what she had signed up for.

“Ab­so­lutely,’’ said Maslin. “And once again she nailed the ac­cent beau­ti­fully.”

Winslet brought her en­tire fam­ily with her on lo­ca­tion.

The Dressmaker opens in Aus­tralia on Oc­to­ber 1.

Pic­ture: UNI­VER­SAL PIC­TURES

SIZ­ZLING CHEM­ISTRY: Liam Hemsworth and Kate Winslet in a scene from Aus­tralian film The Dressmaker.

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