MOVIE REVIEW: “Phantom Thread” stars Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans), Vicky Krieps (Colonia, Hanna), and Lesley Manville (Another Year, Topsy-Turvy). It was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood). Set in 1950s London, an eccentric dressmaker (Day-Lewis) has his world turned upside down when his new, strong-willed muse (Krieps) attempts to change his lifestyle in order to bring him closer to her.
Daniel Day-Lewis has returned…only to retire. But, at the end of his stint as an actor he has gifted us one final performance: “Phantom Thread,” a Paul Thomas Anderson film about an eccentric dressmaker whose life falls apart when one of his new muses alters his routine. From the trailers, it’s easy to assume that this is an elegant picture; the costuming, cinematography, performances, and score are some of the best that these Best Picture nominees had to offer, and it goes without saying that this is a brilliantly made release. Daniel Day-Lewis unsurprisingly kills as the lead character of Reynolds Woodcock, with a finely tuned array of actors who bring their own flair to the table. Vicky Krieps is one of these, who flat-out astounded me in her role of Alma. It was in these performances that I found such a fascination in the story. The pacing is slow, yet the dialogue is too engaging to pass up; how can a tale about an aging dressmaker’s life being turned upside down be interesting? You got me, but Paul Thomas Anderson was able to make it so. Throughout the entire film the story served up interesting drama and characters that you couldn’t pull away from. The development in them was spectacular, and Anderson certainly knew how to flesh them out well. As you all know, I love period pieces, so an added bonus to this film was its setting. Everything from the wardrobe to the houses were a marvel to look at, and even made me feel proper in watching it unfold. It’s essentially a “rich man’s feature” that holds all of its punches, emotion, and energy in the words shared between our characters. I enjoyed “Phantom Thread” more than I thought I would. The previews for it didn’t do it justice, and for just about two hours I was captivated. That is…until the resolution came. With any movie, the ending is the make-it-or-break-it point, and while “Phantom Thread” didn’t have a terrible one, it surely left me unsatisfied. To go into detail would obviously spoil the picture, but I will say that it’s strange and completely distasteful (at least in my eyes). And that’s a real shame, because otherwise I would’ve given this a much higher rating. Overall, “Phantom Thread” is an elegant piece, primed with the best of the best in every aspect of aesthetics; even the score is magnificent. The ending certainly faltered my experience, however I would still recommend this to anyone who loves film and is willing to give anything a shot. So long Daniel Day-Lewis…hopefully this isn’t just a ruse, making this statement completely useless. FINAL SCORE: 88%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: