A Stitch in Time (2023)

A Stitch in Time, a heart-warming Australian film directed by Sasha Hadden, stars Maggie Blinco.

The Fabric (Jacquard Damask Brocade) of Life

by Alexa Dalby

A Stitch in Time

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Who’d be an older woman in Australia, this film asks. It’s a generational thing: maybe women are treated differently now. Maybe.

A Stitch in Time is the compressed story of Liebe (Maggie Blinco), an elderly ex-dressmaker married for many years to a misogynistic pig of a man (a past-his-prime singer played by real-life musician Glenn Shorrock). One day he pushes her too far: she leaves and eventually regains her creativity and her soul. The fact she stayed with him for so many years shows how his controlling behaviour undermined her confidence. Or maybe it was her understanding of love?

Liebe is supported by a blonde, rich, girly female friend, who her husband would not allow her to see (Belinda Giblin, who talks the talk but still walks the walk determined by her own equally misogynistic, demeaning husband (John Gregg)). Liebe is saved by her growing friendship with good-looking Chinese market-stall holder and fashion designer (Vietnamese Australian Hoa Xuande, soon to be seen in The Sympathizer with Robert Downey Jr). The director brings in the contemporary theme of new immigrants and also historical refugees, both in Australia and Europe, and roots, belonging and integration.

So A Stitch in Time is a lovely new twist on something that could have been boringly predictable. It’s appealingly acted but perhaps a bit too simplistic at times, although it’s a heart-warming, personal feature debut from writer/director Sasha Hadden, inspired, he says, by Driving Miss Daisy. It’s (very quietly) revolutionary for older women’s lives.

A Stitch in Time won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award and is released on 24 November 2023 in the UK.

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