Kate Winslet and Judy Davis have signed on for a new Australian film, The Dressmaker, that director Jocelyn Moorhouse will shoot early next year. Winslet will play a talented dressmaker who returns from Europe to the country town she fled as a child, with Davis as her eccentric mother, in what's described as "a stylish drama with comic undertones". While bringing 1950s haute couture to the Australian outback, Winslet's character, Tilly Dunnage, wants revenge on those who treated her badly before she left town accused of murder. Moorhouse, best known for Proof and How to Make an Amer-ican Quilt, is making her first film as director since the collapse of the planned Nicole Kidman-Russell Crowe film Eucalyptus in 2005. As well as producing the comedy Mental for director husband P. J. Hogan, she directed a play for the Sydney Theatre Company last year. The Dressmaker is adapted from a novel by Rosalie Ham that Moorhouse describes as "Unforgiven with a sewing machine". The film will return Winslet to Australia, where she shot Jane Campion's 1999 film Holy Smoke. Producer Sue Maslin, who calls The Dressmaker "a project with rich, complex characters and an indelible Australian setting", says filming will take place in Victoria. "We've been scouting small towns in the Wimmera and Mallee regions," she says. "We also expect to film at Mount Rothwell at the back of the You Yangs outside of Melbourne."