Sunday, January 21, 2018

Phantom Thread

Movie Name: Phantom Thread
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Daniel Day Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville, Gina McKee, Camilla Rutherford, Brian Gleeson, Julia Davis, Harriet Sansom Harris, Lujza Richter
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
View Trailer

Three years following the underrated "Inherent Vice", director Paul Thomas Anderson is back with "Phantom Thread". The film follows the story of acclaimed fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, in London in the 50s. Woodcock is a perfectionist, and a person fastidious and extremely observant of his daily routines. He is accompanied in his life and business by his stern sister. In one of his trips to the country (to recover and gain inspiration), Woodcock meets Alma, a waitress working in a small coffee shop. There's an instant attraction, and Alma becomes an inspirational muse, love interest, and equally model for the collections that Woodcock is producing in his atelier. However as their collaboration continues, the less interested he becomes in keeping her around, something that provokes Alma to react in an unexpected manner.
Out of all Paul Thomas Anderson films, "Phantom Thread" has in my opinion, some contacts with one of his more joyous previous films, but in a much darker perspective. I'm speaking of course of the beautiful and romantic "Punch Drunk Love". Though both films chronicle the blossom of romantic relationships, whereas "Punch Drunk Love" is a beautiful and artistic dig at the traditional screwball comedy, "Phantom Thread" goes for a much darker and murkier aspect of that romanticism. The film focuses on the relationship between a relentless, deeply methodical and accomplished man, and his elected muse, someone who's never given much opportunity to disclose her background, her wants and needs, or really grow as an individual. There's a monstrous narcissism that consumes Woodcock, preventing him from seeing what surrounds him, with only his sister keeping an edge over his ego and behavior, which teeters on infantile at times. It's definitely a film of a different scope for the director, who has always gone in the direction of focusing his attention in polarizing characters, but ones that were always encased in a very diverse web of relationships. This film is an exploration of this amorous relationship, one that evolves as these two people become accustomed to each other, and how they learn to get something out of each other. It's definitely a compelling film, featuring great performances from the three leads, alongside impeccable camera work from the director himself, and a subtle score from Jonny Greenwood. A good film worth watching.