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Phantom Thread: Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis Are a Great Fit

January 27, 2018


Phantom Thread is a meticulously crafted romance that feels like every inch of it was tailored by director/writer Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will be Blood, The Master, Boogie Night, Magnolia). It put a massive smile on my face as every hand crafted scene played in front of my eyes, and when it was over I wanted more. I love how Anderson finds ways to make his films feel so alive and layered because they almost force you to rewatch them to embrace every detail.

Phantom Thread revolves around Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) a consummate bachelor/famous dressmaker meeting a woman named Alma (Vicky Krieps) who becomes his muse. Since this is a Paul Thomas Anderson film, the romance is anything but conventional and plays like a subdued rollercoaster in the guise of a period drama. The two meet while Woodcock is away at the country after a particularly stressing fashion show. After a charming breakfast scene involving the great pronunciation of the word “raspberry,” Woodcock takes Alma out for a date, then back to his place to fit her for what will become a beautiful dress. After their initial meet-cute, Alma comes back to London with him to become his muse, lover and verbal sparring partner. However, since he is a stuck-in-his-ways bachelor it puts a strain on their relationship and leads to some trippy places.

I loved how Alma adds minor chaos to Reynold’s routine by simply spreading butter on toast too loudly or insisting on getting the last word in during their arguments. Woodcock bit off a little more than he could chew with Alma, and he doesn’t realize his normal tricks of turning women away won’t work with her. Together, they co-exist in an interesting pattern of passive aggressiveness and infatuation that leads to a really awesome and weird ending. Also, this may sound random but Phantom Thread features the best pronunciation of the word “raspberry” since Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

It’s random. I know

If you are thinking that a period romance about dressmaking isn’t for you, just remember that Paul Thomas Anderson is the guy who directed There Will Be Blood, The Master, Boogie Nights and Magnolia. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is because Anderson always finds a way to make things look beautiful and the plot interesting. You will 100% be surprised at what transpires throughout the film and you might find yourself smiling at the absurdity of it all. Also, the sets, dresses and locations, provide an embarrassment of eye candy.

Phantom Thread is a beautiful film that might just be the swan song for Daniel Day-Lewis. For that reason alone you should head to the theaters to bask in his layered performance that proves he is one of the best actors on the planet.

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