Jocelyn Moorhouse has come full circle since her directorial debut with her 1991 film Proof. Her latest film, The Dressmaker, is an ambitious venture that allows Moorhouse to stretch her cinematic prowess in her home country of Australia. This film is very unique as it's a revenge story told through fashion, love, madness, and comedy. When asked about her inspiration for the film, Moorhouse expressed that it's been a long time coming.
"I desired to create something human. A story that could resonate with all people everywhere. 'The Dressmaker' is important because it's a labor of love for me. It's given me the chance to work with some amazing actors and some amazing fashion. Also, it's a great opportunity to film on location in Australia. I feel so at home when filming there."
Working With Kate Winslet
Revenge, redemption, and humility are the foundation for this story. While that may seem like a lot of elements to deal with in 120 minutes, they mesh together seamlessly. At the core of The Dressmaker is the power of love and solidarity between a mother and daughter, and how resilient women can be in times of tragedy. Strong women have always been central to the films Moorhouse chooses to direct, so it's no surprise she sought out acting powerhouse Kate Winslet to star.
"Kate was the first and the only actress I imagined for this role. I sought to make a movie that promotes body positivity, and Kate has always been an advocate for that. She's a fashion icon in her own right, and she has the perfect full body type for the 1950s era. I just knew the clothing would fit her particular body shape perfectly. Kate is an 'everywoman' who is confident, proud, and beautiful. I wanted Tilly Dunnage to reflect those same elements."
The colors are vibrant, the designs are couture, and its the 1950s. All this dreamy fashion is like a watching a vintage Valentino, or Yves Saint Laurent runway show. It makes you wonder what did a small shire-town like Dungatar do to deserve such elegance, but this is the brilliance of Moorhouse's vision. Vintage couture fashion is a big part of the film experience. With the right story and the right actress solidified, Moorhouse was meticulous about discovering the right look to help bring the film to life.
"The clothing really takes on a life of its own. It's one of the stars of the movie in its own way. Watching the movie you'll realize that the costumes bring this town to life and helps to create strong bonds between the characters. Fashion really can transform people and bring out the best or worst in them. This is a message that I had to make sure I got across to the audience."
Jocelyn Moorhouse Is Back
With the success of the film in Australia, Moorhouse is hoping to win over audiences and critics with The Dressmaker. But before viewing the film, here is what you can expect to see.
"This is really an ensemble piece. Everyone has a meaningful part to play in this story. The chemistry between the cast is fantastic and I could not ask for a group of individuals to work with. Understand that this isn't all fun and games. This is life we're dealing with. When seeking to break the vicious cycle of bad luck, there will always be casualties. Put aside what you think you know as the film is quite unpredictable. Just when you think you know what's happening, the film will flip things on its head and present something unexpected. Prepared to be shocked. "
Jocelyn Moorhouse breathes new life in this year's cinematic slump. She manages to make fashion a worthy-adversary dramedy tale of revenge and redemption. Kate Winslet is a ballsy powerhouse and has a great connection to the material. Definitely one of the better movies I've seen this year.
Watch the trailer for Jocelyn Moorhouse's The Dressmaker below:
What do you think is the best movie about high fashion?