Friday, January 19, 2018

"Phantom Thread" Review by Tim Helman

'PHANTOM THREAD': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's new critically acclaimed historical drama, about a famous dressmaker, in 1950s London, who's routine life is disrupted by sudden love. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, who last teamed with Anderson in 2007's critical darling 'THERE WILL BE BLOOD' (and this is reportedly Day-Lewis's last film role), The movie costars Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville, and it's also the director's fourth collaboration with music composer Jonny Greenwood. The film was shot in Lythe, England, marking Anderson's first movie filmed outside of the US, and it was also shot without an official cinematographer (Anderson says it was a collaborative effort). The movie has gotten nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics, and it's also been nominated for a shitload of prestigious awards as well. I really enjoyed it.

The story is set in 1950s London, when Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) is a famous dressmaker who dresses all of society's wealthiest and most elite women. He's also a bachelor, who lives with his sister Cyril (Manville), and the two siblings are lifelong business partners. Reynolds has had many girlfriends, who briefly enter his life, but then he quickly rejects them. That is until he meets Alma (Krieps), who disrupts his obsessive and routine life to it's core.

The film is slow-paced but it's still always interesting and involving. Day-Lewis is once again amazing in the lead, and he also once again portrays a very unlikable leading man character, but we still end up rooting for him (or at least I did). Even more so I rooted for Alma though, who's also beautifully played by Krieps, but what's most fascinating about the movie is what a beautiful love story it is. The film also beautifully shows us how love conquers all, even in really dark obsessive ways sometimes. This film does get really dark too, towards the end (like most of Anderson's movies), and I love it for it.

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