Tuesday, 24 November 2015

REVIEW - THE DRESSMAKER (JOCELYN MOORHOUSE)


Constructed using only the finest of materials, cut to perfection and figure-flattering in all the right places. The dresses, not The Dressmaker. Jocelyn Moorhouse's Aussie orgy of a film is a most compelling oddity, compelling not because of everything it gets right but because of, well, everything, both right and wrong. The talented editor Jill Bilcock produces her most talentless display of editing yet: The Dressmaker is a decidedly simple enterprise with a decidedly shambolic result. Miike Takashi would be jealous at the sheer messiness, and ashamed at the fact that this messiness appears entirely unintentional. If you can bear to sit through a film where the plot literally ceases two-thirds through, where liberally-employed ADR sounds like it was recorded on another continent, where we're supposed to judge the oscillating character of a person by... the position of the sun in the sky (I don't know)? If you can, then The Dressmaker offers a lot in return for your patience, from spirited performances from an excellent cast excellently used, to dazzling dresses by Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson. And sit through it once, and you might be tempted to sit through it again - it's the kind of film that's so unyielding to expectation that you'll need that first viewing to adjust them; it'd no doubt be better consumed when you know what it is you're about to encounter. Affable and sporadically successful, but blighted by wild tonal issues and bizarre narrative slackness.