It seems like Australian might have a thing for dressmakers, right? With films like The Dressmaker in the back of my mind, I sat down to watch writer-director Sasha Hadden’s latest film, A Stitch in Time. This drama tells the tale of an aged former dressmaker who must take some initiative late in life to find her own path. She is stuck between a mean and cranky husband who is offended by her hope for independence and her former best friend who might not always have her best intentions in mind. How can she forge her own path in the twilight of her life? Returning to the passion that she loves, dressmaking.
Does Hadden match the passion that his protagonist offers up in his film? There is an emotional atmosphere to this film in general. There is not anything too special or impressive with the technical aspects of the film, but the atmosphere offers up quite a bit. There is an endearing and moving story at the core of the film. There is plenty of love and care oozing from the lead as she reconnects with her abandoned passion. There are some dark moments throughout the film that might take you by surprise. Liebe (our lead) is abused emotionally by the cruelty that her husband Duncan dishes out. There is one confrontation late in the game that is harsh and emotional. Liebe struggles along the way to take care of herself which leads to some scenes that feature plenty of worry from the audience and a general sense of sadness.
There might not be too much that is special from Hadden’s filmmaking but what about the script? There are plenty of cliché narrative beats that you have seen in plenty of romances. There are not a lot of surprises along the way (except for maybe one which is finally the crux for Liebe to head out on her own). Hadden is not concerned with making everything work out perfectly which makes the film better for it. Duncan is an underwritten villain who is a who’s who of mean and abuse actions. Liebe’s friend Christine is a bit subtler as the audience witnesses her own abuse of her friend through guilting. This is an inspiring story to say the least and Hadden navigates a flawed path to get the audience to where they need to be.
How about this cast? Do they offer up performances that make this drama soar? Maggie Blinco is a kind and sweet presence in this film as our leading lady. She does show the slow cracks in a truthful manner throughout this film. We can feel the emotions that she leaves out on her sleeves. Glenn Shorrock is a perfect choice for Duncan as his cranky jerk of a character who is so easily hated. Belinda Giblin is a fun and charming presence on screen, and she has great chemistry with her on screen friend Blinco. Hoa Xuande is a solid addition to the cast as he does the minimum that he needs to bring Liebe’s young influencer, Hamish, to life.
Are you ready to take a journey settled deeply in themes about forging your own path? The goal is for all people to hopefully find their way to autonomy. Liebe’s story embodies this theme so perfectly along the way. The inspiration and motivation I felt when the credit started to roll was meaningful and resonant. Do yourself a favor and check out this fine and endearing film.