Out for revenge, seamstress-turned-sleuth Kate WInslet returns to her rural Australian hometown and, using haute couture much the same way Sherlock Holmes would apply deductive reasoning, cracks a decades old crime that positioned her as a murderess. Thankfully, this was a lot darker than anticipated. For over half its running time, Jocelyn Moorehouse’s (Proof) archly quirky fable played like a screwball comedy directed by Sergio Leone. Credit co-screenwriter (and Mr. Moorehouse) P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding) with some of the quirkier background characterizations, a few of which were avoidably mean-spirited. As the town stud, Liam Hemsworth knows how to remove his shirt, leaving much of the heavy lifting to spinster Winslet and her hag of a mother, Judy Davis. Mad mom’s feelings of the guilt-by-association that stemmed from the crime have left her a Jack-O-Lantern-grinned mess, capable only of upstaging her daughter’s every move (and effectively stealing every scene she’s in). (2016) — Scott Marks
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