Ladies in Black
Opens:September 20
Genre:Period comedy-drama
Duration:109 minutes

I doubt Sydney on the cusp of the 1960s has ever been painted in such loving detail as in this retitled adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel about the lives of women working in an upmarket department store.

Veteran filmmaker Bruce Beresford has gone all out to make this light-hearted, gently sentimental comedy-drama above all a sensual experience, closer in spirit to 1957 Audrey Hepburn vehicle Funny Facethan camp TV dross like Are You Being Served?From the eye-popping colours of the period’s fabulous floral dresses to the snapped suspenders and silk petticoats beneath, this is a film above all for women who love fashion.

But Ladies in Black is also a must for every Nostalgia Tragic of any gender who’s ever been spellbound by photographs of a long-gone Australia when grandiose department stores took up entire blocks and hired classical pianists to serenade the New Year’s Day sales crowds; a Sydney where green trams glided elegantly down every city street packed with people who bothered...