Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Sue Clark, Joan Brown, Harriet Leitch
Plot: Set in 1950’s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.
Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Battle to get Through
Story: The Phantom Thread starts as we meet the eccentric dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis), he is renowned for his quality in his work, he has always had a muse, but when his latest one has become tiresome in his eyes, he needs an escape. This brings him into contact with waitress Alma (Krieps) that has the look he loves for his dressmaking style.
With Alma becoming his new muse, she moves in with Reynolds and his sister Cyril (Manville) in London as they aim to continue the next level of their relationship and design which includes royalty, as time goes by we learn how Reynolds has his own way of doing things and doesn’t like anyone getting in the way of his routine.
Thoughts on The Phantom Thread
Characters – Reynolds Woodcock is a famous dressmaker, he makes the most desired dresses in London with the rich and famous coming to him for his latest design. He needs a muse to inspire him and order to keep him motivated, without the order, he can’t focus on his work. Alma is just a waitress that captures the eye of Reynold’s this gives her new meaning in life as she goes from shy quiet waitress to part of the fashion industry, still wanting more from her life she tries to inspire Reynolds to take her seriously. Cyril is the sister of Reynolds, that keeps his affairs in order, his routine in place and the right people around him to inspire him.
Performances – The performances in this movie are great throughout, we know Daniel Day-Lewis will always be a top performer and this being his last is a nice exit for him. Vicky Krieps is strong throughout the film too, showing that we can get more unknown stars opposite Day-Lewis and not look out of places, while Lesley Manville works wonderfully in the supporting role of the film.
Story – The story follows an eccentric dressmaker that always strives for perfection in his work, but he always needs inspiration in his work too. This comes from his new muse which only turns him comfort zone against him, as he prepares for his next work. This is a slow moving story, it shows one man’s imprisonment in his work as he blocks out the people close to him, making mistakes in both his lives. In all honesty this does play out in a rather slow and boring style, we learn nothing about dressmaking, which isn’t what I wanted from the movie, but he doesn’t seem to do anything, it is his team that do most of the work, the relationship is weird and not interesting to see unfold even though you do think something will happen.
Romance – This does have a twisted romance side to the story, which when it all comes out becomes even more disturbing.
Settings – The settings are mostly inside the house as we see the different rooms for the designing and living.
Final Thoughts – This is a slow movie that builds up for an eventually big pay off, the problem is that is takes way to long to get to this moment.
Overall: Slow and hard work