Phantom Thread is simply unlike anything I’ve ever watched before! I went into this hearing mixed reviews; some people were calling it a masterpiece and others were walking out due to sheer boredom. I honestly didn’t know which side I’d end up being on.
Paul Thomas Anderson has created a really fascinating character named Reynolds Woodcock. The movie revolves around him and his new found love ‘Alma’, a waitress who soon becomes his muse and lover.
When we first get introduced to Reynolds it doesn’t take long to realise he’s not your run of the mill fashion designer. I was expecting flamboyancy, sparkles and extrovert behaviour and no. He’s a very different type of artist and someone who takes pride in everything he does, which then relates to the fact that he is a perfectionist to the point of obsession.
Daniel Day Lewis plays the character absurdly well. I mean, we’re presented with a character that is so bonkers in his routine and stressed out by the slightest sniff of change that he can’t possibly be relatable right? well actually no!
Hey! I too get annoyed when people make clattering noises when stirring their tea or buttering their toast – I just don’t have the balls to say so.
I found myself laughing at almost everything he said – it was like he was living his life with no filter. Whenever he opened his mouth and said something offensive or rude, I kinda wanted to do a fist pump and be like HELL YEAH!
We’ve all been taught to respect other people and yarda yarda – but Reynolds literally acts like he is the only important person living in the whole world and everyone must bend around his meticulous lifestyle.
Now being so self obsessed and resentful of change can make it a little tricky when you want to start a new relationship, so when he meets Alma he doesn’t hide anything from her. On their first date he’s being extremely open with his life, sharing personal experiences and of course it’s not long til the old dog has her upstairs in her undies ‘taking her measurements’.
It’s pointed out by Alma early on that he is just acting strong and that she can sense he’s hiding part of himself away and this idea actually plays a huge role throughout understanding the whole movie.
Vicky Krieps was a new atress for me, I’d never seen or heard of her before – but her performance is great! Throughout the whole film she was constantly changing the way I felt about her character and had me questioning her whole personality. If you’ve already seen the movie, I think you’d agree that she’s particularly brilliant in the dinner scene with Reynolds where they seem to have their first big argument.
There’s just so much detail in the subtle facial expressions, glazes and body language that make this just amazing to watch. Not to mention the amazing costume design and haunting musical score.
One thing I have to mention is just how hilarious I found this movie to be. I was laughing out loud at so many different moments and holy shit the amount of quotable lines is unbelievable! At the same time though, it’s a very beautiful and sometimes emotional look at life, relationships and how you can’t always make someone love you the way that you want to love them.
Alma falls deeply in love with Reynolds and changes her whole life to be with him but she knows that she could never be loved the way he loves his work and although this movie is a big old extreme version of that notion – it does still manage to hit home in some ways.
ARGH honestly I could sit here waffling on about this all day! For a movie where not a lot happens, there’s just so much to talk about and I’m thinking that I’ll probably do a follow up post when I watch it again because I just can’t squeeze everything into this one.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS; Daniel Day Lewis has created one of my favourite characters of recent years and I’m positive that the more I watch the film the more I’m going to change my opinions about the way he feels and the reasons behind the way he acts like he does. As I mentioned before, there are just so many layers here and although I don’t know how I’ll be feeling about the characters after a few watches – I’m certain that my love for this film won’t change. It’s pretty much perfection.
9/10 – Some parts of me can understand how this might not be for everyone but you seriously can’t deny that it’s phenomenally made with some outstanding performances and I’m sorry but fuck you Gary Oldman – this Oscar needs to go to Daniel!