Kate Winslet commands the screen with sass and midcentury flair in “The Dressmaker,” director Jocelyn Moorhouse’s Aussie dramedy about a sophisticated couturier who returns to her middle-of-nowhere hometown to reconcile with her ailing mother (Judy Davis) and clear her name in the case of a boy who died long ago under mysterious circumstances.
Despite those dramatic beats, the trailer for “The Dressmaker” is almost all compulsively watchable froth, from Winslet’s makeover of a neighbor (Sarah Snook) to her flirtations with a local boy (Liam Hemsworth) and her obvious pleasure in exercising her creative powers — if only the residents of her small town could appreciate them beyond the superficial.
Moorhouse’s previous films include “A Thousand Actres,” “How to Make an American Quilt” and “Proof.” “The Dressmaker,” based on Rosalie Ham’s novel, is her first feature in 18 years.
“The Dressmaker” opens in Australia on October 22. No US release date has been set.