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Film Review: Phantom Thread (2017)

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Kelaru & Fulton rating: ★★★★

Available on Prime Video | Runtime: 2 hrs 10 mins

 

Paul Thomas Anderson is in impeccable form with his gorgeously crafted period drama Phantom Thread. Led by a powerhouse performance from Daniel Day-Lewis in his final film role, this is a complex character study examining the twisted relationship between an obsessive fashion designer and his muse in 1950s London.

Day-Lewis disappears into the role of Reynolds Woodcock, a meticulous couturier to the British elite who runs his successful business with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville). His life is upended when he meets a headstrong young waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps) who soon becomes his lover and model. But his need for control and perfection creates an increasingly toxic push and pull between the two.

Anderson luxuriates in this rarified world of beauty and craftsmanship, with stunning costumes and an elegant score. But underneath lies a darkly funny psychodrama about love, power and obsession. The three central performances are outstanding, especially newcomer Krieps who matches Day-Lewis scene for scene.

Anderson luxuriates in this rarified world of beauty and craftsmanship, with stunning costumes and an elegant score. But underneath lies a darkly funny psychodrama about love, power and obsession. The three central performances are outstanding, especially newcomer Krieps who matches Day-Lewis scene for scene.


While slower paced than his earlier films, Phantom Thread is no less commanding in its vision. This is a film to savor for its contradictions - it is both cold yet intimate, twisted yet romantic. Anderson has crafted an impeccable work that will linger in your mind long after the credits roll.



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