Phantom Thread (2017)

phantom thread poster 2017 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Perfect visuals and acting

Story was interesting but not my favorite

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Phantom Thread

Studio:   Focus Features

Genre(s):   Drama

Release Date(s):  December 11, 2017 (Premiere)/December 25, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:   R

phantom thread alma dress vicky krieps

You are my muse….until I say

In London in the 1950s, one designer was a must for the rich sociality crowd…if he chose you.  Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) needs inspiration in his life.  The confirmed bachelor finds a new muse in an immigrant waitress named Alma Elson (Vicky Krieps), and Alma finds herself pulled into Woodcock’s intense working design studio co-managed by Woodcock’s sister Cyril (Lesley Manville).  Alma finds herself as an afterthought to Woodcock’s creations…and demands to be an equal.

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread is a period drama.  Before the film’s release, Daniel Day-Lewis indicated that he intended to retire after the film.  Following Anderson’s previous film Inherent Vice in 2014, the movie was released to positive reviews and received the Academy Award for Best Costume Design with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), and Best Original Score.

I love Paul Thomas Anderson’s work, and I love Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance so as with There Will Be Blood, the coming together of the two artists is a good thing.  With a film about fashion as the subject, I was a bit hesitant, but the movie does showcase what is good about both visionaries.

phantom thread 2017 vicky krieps lesley manville daniel day lewis

I will dress you up like a Barbie…

The story for Phantom Thread is the weakest part of the film (but it still is solid).  The movie features obsession, control, and questions the role of love in life.  The movie literally has a toxic relationship between the two lead actors with a power struggle of a character in love with someone else (his life and clothing) and the woman who cannot help but love him.  He doesn’t “need” her until he needs her…leading to drastic action by her character that is logical, but also questionable.  It leads to a dangerous dependency cycle that might (or might not) eventually become out and out deadly.

The cast is perfect.  Daniel Day-Lewis continues to show why he is one of the world’s greatest actors.  If you compare his roles, he has such range in characters.  This character is much more retiring than his characters like Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York or Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood, but he still has the fire when dealing with his art and dressmaking.  Vicky Krieps must manage to hold her own against DDL, which she does an admirable job.  The real surprise is the scene stealing Lesley Manville as the tight emotion Cyril Woodcock who “manages” her brother on multiple levels.

phantom thread poisonous mushrooms daniel day lewis

Yum, yum…eat up!

The movie looks perfect.  It has a flow and style and will attract those who fell in love with shows like Downton Abbey since it almost inhabits the same 1950s world.  The movie flows with unconventional shots and framing that have made a lot of Paul Thomas Anderson films stand out.

Phantom Thread isn’t for everyone especially with an ending that is more interpretational than some might expect.  I had a different interpretation on the story than a friend that saw it.  We both concluded that neither is wrong, but the future for the characters involved could be problematic because of the obsessed relationship between the characters.  Regardless, Phantom Thread is a tougher movie than the standard film…something some will like and others will not enjoy…but go for the acting and beauty.

Related Links:

The 90th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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