- Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps
- Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 5 (Read more about DVD formats.)
- Rated: U/A (Parental Guidance)
- Studio: Universal Studio
- Product Release Date: 15 Jun 2018
- Run Time: 130 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B079PXRK81
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #413 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock [Daniel Day-Lewis] and his sister Cyril [Lesley Manville] are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma [Vicky Krieps], who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running. Phantom Thread is Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis.
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Phantom Thread chronicles a battle of wills between Reynolds and Alma, a battle for dominance, affection and the art of fashion. Alma has to defer to Reynolds in all things but has her rebellion where the solution, ironically, is to make Reynolds dependent of her through poisonous mushrooms. Phantom Thread has been termed a Gothic Romance, and that nicely encapsulates the story. Reynolds’s sister Cyril beautifully plays off of both of them, so while this is not a love triangle Cyril has her own influence over Alma and Reynolds. Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance is one of perfection. There is no actor that I know of who so completely becomes the character he is playing. It is a great pleasure to see him at work.
Phantom Thread also brings alive the fashion world of the 1950s with some beautiful designs and also provides a look into how much work goes into creating a clothing brand. We find Reynolds in a perpetual state of thinking through his designs and the hand sewing performed by the many women working for the House of Woodcock. Reynolds is an artist and exhibits some eccentricities that we take as part and parcel of genius. The idea of high fashion probably does not resonate with a lot of people these days but for me the creation of fashionable clothing is an artistic expression that is captured by Phantom Thread. I have never seen a film where the score was so intricately compose to bring the film to life. Johnny Greenwood truly deserved an Oscar for his work, and I believe that he will claim one at some point in his career.
I saw Phantom Thread in theaters twice, once in a 70mm presentation. Much is gained from viewing a film more than once and opens up parts of the story that one could have missed the first time around. This is one of those films.
Beyond the fascinating psychology of the characters, this film is elevated by sublime acting, thoughtful and often hilarious writing, and easily the best original score of the year. Quite the shame that Jonny Greenwood didn't win the Oscar for this - much more deserved than Desplat's generic french train station score for The Shape of Water.
It goes without saying that Daniel Day Lewis delivers another perfect performance. His "meltdowns" in the film, while disturbing, are also comedic gold. Vicky Krieps is a revelation as Alma - she's the glue that keep DDL's perfomance afloat. She richly deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Actress but was snubbed. And then there is Leslie Manville... who can pierce the screen with a mere look or gesture. She is a treasure of cinema. Those three actors tower above all else this past year.
I truly thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated this film, as did my wife who also placed this as her #1, with The Shape of Water as our other favourite of the year. I found the film's themes and depictions to be utterly engrossing and fascinating, and at times, quite funny.
Might have to go see it again, to catch even more nuances.....