a PHANTOM THREAD musing
Allegedly his final work in his prolific career, Daniel Day-Lewis teams up once again with Paul Thomas Anderson. Their previous effort, 2007’s THERE WILL BE BLOOD was a wild piece of work from both of them, and PHANTOM THREAD is no different. DDL gives another MVP performance, while relative newcomer Vicky Krieps announces herself as a tour-de-force.
There’s not much in the way of plot, but the film takes place in England's 1950s fashion world, with a famous dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock, finding a new muse, Alma (Vicky Krieps) that simultaneously inspires him, but also disrupts his precise routine. As the movie progresses, the two continue to find ways to love and ruin each other. It’s a fascinating, twisted character study, with Krieps being able to hold her own against DDL. Woodcock is extremely OCD in his daily life, and it shows in his work and through his reputation. Alma doesn’t have time for that, but still loves him and wants to show him that there’s more to life than his work. The two continue to play subtle, twisted games with each other, and leads to a lot of push and pull between the two leads. Lesley Manville plays Cyril, the sister and assistant of Reynolds, and commands the screen whenever she goes toe-to-toe with her on-screen brother. She’s just as fierce as he is, but also understands the plight of Alma.
I watched PHANTOM THREAD in glorious 70mm, and the craft of each and every single frame showed. The whites were blinding, while other colors really popped off the screen. Each scene is directed beautifully, and paced extremely well, making the 130 minute runtime zip by. This movie examines an obsessive artist’s relationship with a somewhat dour view, but the characters are so well developed and directed that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, with an incredibly gorgeous score to boot. While they bicker, they are still drawn to each other because of their vulnerabilities, and we see that through the intense close-ups that Anderson portrays their conversations with. The characters and the director are imperfect perfectionists, and it’s a heck of a sight to see.
RATING: BEST OF THE BEST
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)