Posts Tagged Kate Winslet

book review: The Dressmaker


The Dressmaker By Rosalie Ham.
Penguin Books Original| August 11, 2015|256 pages |$16.00| ISBN: 978-0-14-312906-6

rating: ****/5*

“The stranger went back to her room to smoke her cigarettes. She wondered how Paris had found its way to the dilapidated confines and neglected torsos of banal housewives in a rural provence.”

It’s quite possible that I still would have read The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham at some point. However, knowing that Kate Winslet would star in the feature film based on the novel piqued my interest. That’s good and bad. Kate Winslet happens to be one of, if not my all-time favorite actress and not for Titanic. I’ll see anything that she stars in. She’s such an immense talent. Here’s the thing with The Dressmaker: I can’t picture Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth together in the lead roles, not only because she’s 15 years older than him and they’re supposed to be close in age [which frequently happens in Hollywood].

After studying dressmaking and fashion design in couture houses throughout Paris, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage returns to the small Australian town in which she grew up. Not only did Tilly grow up in Dungatar but she faced much harassment and was basically banished as a child following a false murder accusation. The townspeople find themselves titillated by Tilly’s sewing talents—she can reproduce anything from a fashion magazine and makes lovely outfits to suit any figure—and wary due to her reputation around town.

“Sergeant Farrat said love was as strong as hate and that as much as they themselves could hate someone, they could also love an outcast. Teddy was an outcast until he proved himself an asset and he’d loved an outcast—little Myrtle Dunnage. He loved her so much he asked her to marry him.”

While her fashion business blooms, Tilly finds friendship with cross-dressing police sergeant Farrat and love with Teddy, yet she mostly desires revenge. Tilly proves to be an intriguing character. She’s independent, outspoken and strong despite her past. Her dressmaking and style superb. Is it just provincial pettiness that drove Tilly away and envy that keeps fueling the battle? Ham’s descriptions of the townspeople and fashion burst from the pages and this is a fun, quick summer/weekend read.

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Penguin Books.

purchase at Amazon: The Dressmaker: A Novel


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Entertainment News: Books to Film

Casting for Ann Leary’s The Good House


Meryl Streep will play Hildy Good, a lifelong resident of Boston’s North Shore who befriends a beautiful young new arrival while struggling with her own drink problem. Robert De Niro will portray Good’s eccentric old flame Frank Getchell, who warns her to steer clear of her new companion. Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Cunningham is writing the screenplay adaptation. No director has yet been attached to the project.

from goodreads: Ann Leary’s The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston’s North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She’s also a raging alcoholic. Hildy’s family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place—“if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday,” she advises “run for your life” — and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem. As if battling her demons wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Hildy soon finds herself embroiled in the underbelly of her New England town, a craggy little place that harbors secrets. There’s a scandal, some mysticism, babies, old houses, drinking, and desire—and a love story between two craggy sixty-somethings that’s as real and sexy as you get.


First Look at Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, directed by Jason Reitman


The film, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard, is about an escaped convict (Brolin) who convinces Adele (Winslet) to take him into her home over the labor day weekend. 13-year-old Henry Wheeler (Changling’s Gattlin Griffith) struggles with the difficulties of adolescence and caring for his reclusive mother. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape all of them for the rest of their lives. Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, JK Simmons, Brooke Smith and James Van Der Beek co-star.


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Women’s History Month: Biopics about Women Writers

black butterflies

Black Butterflies [2011]
Director: Paula van der Oest
Starring: Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer
–about the volatile life of South African poet Ingrid Jonker


Sylvia [2003]
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig
Director: Christine Jeffs
–focuses on relationship between poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes


Iris [2001]
Starring: Judi Densch, Jim Broadbent, Kate Winslet
Director: Richard Eyre
–lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley from their days as students through her battle with Alzheimer’s disease

becoming jane

Becoming Jane [2007]
Starring: Anne Hathaway
Director: Julian Jarrold
–pre-fame Jane Austen and her romance with a young Irishman

miss potter

Miss Potter [2006]
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson
Director: Chris Noonan
–Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children’s book, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”


The Children of the Century [1999]
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Benoit Magimel
Director: Diane Kurys
–love affair between novelist George Sand and author Alfred de Musset

mrs parker

Mrs. Parker and the Viscous Circle [1994]
Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cambell Scott, Peter Gallagher
Director: Alan Rudolph
–Dorothy Parker and her heyday with the Algonquin Round Table circle of friends


Impromptu [1991]
Starring: Judy Davis, Hugh Grant, Mandy Patinkin
Director: James Lapine
–writer George Sand pursues pianist/composer Frederic Chopin in 1830s France

angel at my table

An Angel at My Table [1990]
Starring: Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson
Director: Jane Campion
–Janet Frame grows up with lots of brothers and sisters in a poor family in 1920s and 1930s New Zealand. She always feels different from others. After getting education as a teacher, she’s sent to a mental institution for eight years. She gains success when she begins writing novels.

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FILM: photo from the Labor Day set

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin currently filming the Joyce Maynard novel Labor Day, directed by Jason Reitman in Acton.

it’s set in the late 70s/ early 80s.

here’s the mailbox with the fiction town of Holton Mills and the newpaper Holton Mills Ledger:

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Contagion Trailer

*remember not to touch your face so much. germs. germs. germs.*

directed by Steven Soderbergh

Matt Damon
Gwyneth Paltrow
Jude Law
Kate Winslet
Laurence Fishburne
Sanaa Lathan
Jennifer Ehle
Marion Cotillard

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Mildred Pierce on HBO March 27

Synopsis: story of a proud single mother struggling to earn her daughter’s love during the Great Depression in middle-class Los Angeles.

The five-part miniseries, produced in association with MGM, will follow the story laid out by James M. Cain in his 1941 novel of the same name.

co-written and directed by Todd Haynes [Safe, Far from Heaven]


Kate Winslet [Revolutionary Road, The Reader]
Guy Pearce [The Hurt Locker, Memento]
Evan Rachel Wood [True Blood]
Brian O’Byrne [Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead]
James LeGros [Zodiac, Mercy]
Melissa Leo [Frozen River, The Fighter]
Mare Winningham [George Wallace]
Hope Davis [In Treatment]

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