Movie Review

Phantom Thread

One measure of how good a movie is, I think, is how long it stays with you. I have been thinking about Phantom Thread ever since I first saw it a few days ago. There is much to unpack here. This movie is essentially a love story between two strong willed, eccentric people from very different backgrounds. There is also an element of a ghost story thrown in for good measure, hence the phantom part of the title. Early in the film the main character, Reynolds Woodcock, tells his sister Cyril, “It’s comforting to think the dead are watching over the living. I don’t find that spooky at all.” He sews different artifacts and relics from his dead mother into the lining of his clothes so that she will always be with him. He also sews little secret messages into the clothes he designs for his clients, the wealthy and the Royal.

This is a movie about a famous dressmaker working in 1950’s London. Another period piece for director Paul Thomas Anderson. PTA is fast becoming one of my favorite directors. He has a collection of very quirky but well put together movies to his credit. And this one is no different.  He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and has led seven actors in Oscar nominated roles: Burt Reynolds, Juliane Moore, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day-Lewis (2X’s), Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Leslie Manville. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his performance in There Will Be Blood (2007). My personal favorite movie of his, however, is Inherent Vice (2014), starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The fastidious dressmaker in Phantom Thread is Reynolds Woodcock played with just the right amount of fussiness by Daniel Day-Lewis. He brings to the role the same level of obsessiveness in creating the character of Reynolds Woodcock as Reynolds Woodcock brings to creating those beautiful dresses and gowns of his. It is a match made in heaven. His sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) runs the business side of things. Reynolds is a confirmed bachelor and goes through a string of girls and drops each one as he tires of them. Then one day out for breakfast he meets a strong willed young woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who catches his fancy. She moves in with him to become his muse and lover. She is more than he bargained for. His once controlled and planned life is now disrupted by love. Reynolds can be cold, domineering, moody and loathe to be interrupted in his work. Alma, finds an interesting way of getting his attention and securing his love.

The film is beautifully shot by Paul Thomas Anderson and is a wonder to behold. The original score by  Johnny Greenwood  perfectly compliments the film and drives the action.

I highly recommend this magnificent motion picture and give it a 9/10.









11 thoughts on “PHANTOM THREAD

  1. I tried to leave a comment when I first read this a few days ago but I can’t see it (though I have had problems with leaving WP comments lately – hopefully it’s resolved itself now..!) This wasn’t one I’d even heard of before this post but it’s definitely on my to-watch-list so I can check it out for myself, but it’s a rare and wonderful quality for a film to linger with you so long afterwards and leave that indelible mark – definitely the sign of a good movie! x


    • Thanks for commenting. I definitely saw this one. I’m glad you like the review and it’s on your to see list. I think that you will enjoy it and if you see it please let me know. Cheerio have a great day.


  2. Hey so here’s what I thought it lacked –
    A cohesive story line, The writer seemed severely confused bringing in so many different threads [pardon the pun] like for example the mother.
    Daniel Day Lewis was amazing though only in parts – I felt he didn’t know what the hell he was doing there the other parts. The lady actress was really good, loved the fight scene at the dinner table.
    Poisoning DDL ? like that was stretching it too much, should have ended it after the wedding.
    The cinematography was just begging to be different like if there was no DDL I would have thought the film was rubbish without a good cinematography. Certain shots were so random and bad that people would think ‘Oh Hey It’s an Art film, wow what artsy shots’

    I’m only saying all this because I was really pumped for the film, but It turned out to be a wannabe Art film, with a confused plot, glimpses of good acting, and overall draggy and annoying at points.


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