Summary of The Movie
Reynold Woodcock is a well-known designer in London’s fashion industry. The majority of his clients are wealthy people. Reynolds and his sister Cyril run their fashion business together.
Alma, a waitress, is introduced to the designer on a trip to the countryside. Reynolds extends an invitation to Alma, and she accepts it. At Reynolds’ cottage after dinner, Alma joins him. Alma’s measurements will be taken by the designer for the creation of a new gown. During this time, Alma is introduced to Cyril at the cottage.
Alma follows soon after and begins living with Reynolds. She becomes both his muse and employee. In the beginning, Alma finds working with Reynolds to be a pleasant experience. Reynolds’ controlling and obsessive nature became apparent to her as time went on. Alma refuses to give up on their relationship, despite Reynolds’ short temper.
Alma prepares a romantic dinner for Reynolds in an effort to rekindle their romance. Cyril and his team are escorted out by her. Reynolds reacted angrily to the surprise because he is averse to change in his daily routine.
The following morning, Alma goes out in search of some flora and fauna. A few of them end up in Reynold’s tea. Reynolds faints after drinking the poisoned tea and falls on top of the princess’s wedding dress. Some damage was done to the gown. Staff had to stay up all night to fix it because of this.
Reynolds suffers from hallucinations of his deceased mother as he recovers. Reynolds wakes up and proposes to Alma, who takes care of him the entire time. Alma agrees, and the wedding is soon to follow. Despite this, their rekindled love affair doesn’t last long.
Once again, Alma and Reynolds get into a fight. Some of Reynolds’ most important clients are moving to the rival fashion house, which suggests that Reynolds’ classical designs are becoming obsolete.
Reynolds, frustrated, comes to the conclusion that Alma is to blame for his inability to focus on his work any longer. As a result, he decides to end things with her and asks Cyril to do so on his behalf. While this is going on, Alma enters and overhears everything.
Alma has devised yet another scheme to poison Reynolds’ life. She’s making him an omelet with wild mushrooms this time. Alma tells Reynolds that she wants him to be vulnerable and weak when he eats the first piece.
As an added bonus, Alma wants Reynolds to be utterly reliant on her for all of Reynolds’s responsibilities. Reynolds eats the omelet, swallows it, and asks Alma to kiss him.
During the time spent caring for Reynolds, Alma envisions a future in which they have a family and run the fashion house together. That doesn’t mean that things will be easy, but Alma is confident that their love will help them overcome any obstacles.
Reynolds’ Reaction to Alma’s Interruptions to His Work Is Even Stronger Now that He’s Married. Even the Tiniest Things, Like the Noises She Makes While Buttering Her Toast, Have Made Him Find It Difficult to Concentrate at Work.
Reynolds Goes on A Rant About how Alma’s Presence Has Flipped Everything Upside Down and Shattered His World. as Alma Prepares an Omelette for Reynolds’ Dinner, the Film’s Climax Begins to Take Shape.
After Chopping up The Poisonous Mushrooms, Reynolds Observes Alma as She Prepares the Omelette. She Tells Him That She Wants Him Helpless and On His Back so That She Can Care for Him as He Eats the First Piece.
He Continues to Chew and Then Asks Alma to Kiss Him Before Becoming Sick Again. Before Returning to The Present, Reynolds Tells Alma that He Is “hungry” as He Begins to Try on A New Dress for His Willing Model, Alma, in The Final Scenes of The Film.
That’s Why in The Film, Alma Manages to Poison Reynolds Twice. What’s Most Remarkable Is how The Artist’s Relationship with His Muse Can Withstand the Artist Being Poisoned by Her and Still Remain Intact, if Anything, Their Bond Is Strengthened.
a Book on Fungi Identification Helps Alma Identify Poisonous Local Mushrooms, Which She Picks up In the Countryside and Uses in Her Story.
Reynolds Is Poisoned by Alma, but She Does Not Intend to Kill Him. Ultimately, She Just Wants Him to Be Helpless and Vulnerable so That She Can Take Care of Him. Alma Has Learned that Reynolds Is Usually Too Engrossed in His Work to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Her, Based on Previous Encounters.
the Tireless Dressmaker’s “strong” Persona Disappears when He Is Sick (or Depressed, as He Becomes After a Less than Perfect Fashion Show).
While Alma’s Desire Not to Harm Reynolds Is Admirable, Her Belief that He Will Not Die from Her Poisonous Mushroom-Laced Concoctions Seems a Little Misplaced.
if He Does Die, She Admits She Doesn’t Know for Sure, Saying She’ll Have to Be Patient (as She Has Been Before) until They Do Meet up Again. Even if Reynolds Dies, Alma Is Confident that She and Reynolds Will Always Be Together Because of Her Love and Patience.
No, He Doesn’t Know that Alma Is a Poisoner. the Omelet Is What He Eats, but Why?
It’s Reynolds’ First Time Being Poisoned, and He Claims He Has No Idea What’s Happened to Him. Because He Won’t Go to The Doctor, He Gets Sick for A Couple of Nights Before Getting Better.
Reynolds, on The Other Hand, Seems to Be Aware of What’s Going on The Second Time Alma Poisons Him and Actively Participates in His Own Poisoning. the Omelette that Alma Is Making for Reynolds Is Preparing Him a Thoughtful Look from Reynolds, Who Knows that She Overheard Him Complaining About how Alma Has Stifled His Life and Creativity.
The More He Sees Her Prepare a Mushroom Omelette, the More He Realises that Something Is Wrong Even Before He Takes His First Bite. when Reynolds Takes His First Bite, Alma Immediately Admits that She Poisoned Him, Saying that She Wants Him to Be Helpless and That He Will Get Very Sick but Not Die as A Result of It.
There Is an Interesting Dynamic Between Reynolds and Alma and Food, Which Is Lightly Hinted at in When Alma Cooks a Romantic Dinner for The Dressmaker — without The Poisonous Mushrooms — without The Poisonous Mushrooms.
She Serves Him Asparagus in A Butter Sauce, Angering Reynolds and Prompting Him to Question Why She Is Making Him Eat Something She Knows He Doesn’t Like.
Reynolds, on The Other Hand, “gallantly” Consumes a Few Spears of Asparagus. Because of The Theme, Reynolds Appears to Have Accepted His Muse’s Eccentric (and Potentially Fatal) Method of Expressing Her Love for Him Through Food.
Are Alma and Her Friend Talking to Anyone Else in The Movie?
We First See Alma Sitting by A Fire, Talking to An Unknown Person About Her Relationship with Reynolds, and We See Her a Few More Times Throughout the Film.
She Talks Openly About Poisoning Her Husband, Recalling Her Husband’s Strict Facade, and Emotional Tender Moments. Dr. Robert Hardy (Brian Gleeson), Who Sits Across from Alma by The Fire, Is Revealed to Be Speaking to Alma at The Film’s Conclusion.