“Phantom Thread” stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, and Richard Graham. Released on December 25, 2017, the film follows the romantic relationship between a dressmaker and a young waitress.
The film is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who also directed films such as Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, and Inherent Vice. After studying the Oscar nominations more than a week ago, I immediately realized that I only saw eight out of nine Best Picture nominees. Quite an achievement if I do say so myself. The missing piece of the Best Picture puzzle that I’m looking at today is also Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film before his retirement from acting. The last film I saw that starred Day-Lewis was Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” way back in 2012. Other than that, I haven’t seen a whole lot of movies that involved the talented actor. With the Oscars premiering in a month, I decided to skip out on the new releases this weekend so that I can check out the last Best Picture nominee. Was it worth it?
The story is basically your ordinary love story filled with romance and stuff, but by the time it reaches the second half of the movie, it offers a couple of unexpected moments that prevented itself from being too simplistic. This approach might be a bit concerning for mainstream romance followers, but for the artistic followers, it’s a lovely portrait that defines the complications of one’s relationship with the other. One that is directed remarkably well by Anderson, who has an impressive knack at storytelling. Daniel Day-Lewis provided a subtle and genuine performance as Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer whose strict passion on dressmaking overshadows his feelings towards Alma (portrayed really well by Krieps), a waitress who is concerned about Woodcock’s personality. Lesley Manville also did a great job as Cyril Woodcock, Reynolds’ supportive sister. Like the film’s cinematography, the costume designs were very beautiful to look at. I’m no fashion judge, but if I were one, I would give these costumes a solid 10 out of 10 for the creativity and the presentation. Jonny Greenwood’s musical score was a huge delight from start to finish, providing a relaxing, fairy-tale-like tune that could rival the music from The Shape of Water at the Oscars. My only minor issue with the film, besides its inability to lure in a mainstream audience, was its slow pacing. It’s not as bad as the pacing in “Hostiles”, but for those who want a fast-paced love story that involves a man and a woman falling in love with each other, it can be a bit of a pain to sit through.
Overall, there’s nothing too special about “Phantom Thread” in terms of the romance genre. However, like the costumes, the film is woven together by its sheer beauty and its sense of marvel. Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a beautifully-shot love story that’s filled with some impressive performances from the cast, its splendid costumes designs, and Jonny Greenwood’s musical score. If you’re a fan of Anderson’s other works and Daniel Day-Lewis in general, I would say that this film is definitely for you.