Gilberto Finds PHANTOM THREAD Raw And Intriguing.

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FILM REVIEW: PHANTOM THREAD

BY GILBERTO CAMPA

What happens when you bring together the greatest living actor in the business along with one of the most unique directors in the industry? You will discover the answer to that question by the end of this review once I share my thoughts on “Phantom Thread”. Sir Daniel Day –Lewis returns to cinemas for the first time in five years (Lincoln) as he is reunited with Director Paul Thomas Anderson  who also helmed Lewis in one of his best and powerful performances in “There Will Be Blood” that was praised critically by fans and the academy in 2007 and is also a personal favorite of mine.

Going into the movie the big headline that everyone couldn’t stop talking about was the rumor that this would be the final performance of Daniel Day-Lewis as he is apparently set to retire from doing motion pictures. So with the retirement rumor and the fact that this is the newest film from Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson, there was much to look forward to. The premise to the movie is not too complicated as it is simply a look inside the life of Reynolds Woodcock (Lewis) who is a dress maker that works with his sister Cyril (played by Leslie Manville) during the Glamour period in 1950’s London.

Right from the very beginning Anderson presents the type of life and very strict routine that Woodcock lives by (through stunning cinematography and a great score) as he is a creator in the true sense of the word and has no time for distractions or things that could get in the way of that routine. Lewis vividly expresses that disdain and has a very mean and almost hateful anger for anyone that gets in the way of his routine and formula whether they mean to or not, and you can only imagine what this does for his love life or the lack there of. Obviously a man who has this kind of lifestyle would consider himself to be a bachelor and doesn’t have time for distractions or people that can take the focus of his work away from him, which is understandable when you are making dresses for many powerful women and princesses from other countries. You clearly see that Woodcock is driven and hungry (in more ways than one) about everything he does, but as I was watching the movie you could see that it didn’t seem like enough for him and he felt that he was missing something.

That’s where Vicky Krieps as Alma comes into the story and the life of Woodcock starts to change, let’s just say that things take an interesting turn. The initial meeting between the two characters is sweet and charming but you do see the seeds of their relationship start to develop as Woodcock starts to show his displeasure for Alma. But still has a love for her that he cannot explain and he is often conflicted with what comes from that.

Alma is often very hurt throughout the movie because she can’t seem to understand and get through to Woodcock and his life as a dress maker, so the movie goes through this dichotomy between the couple as they are both at odds with each other. Ultimately things take an extreme turn and without going into spoilers it is very jarring to see what happens as the two characters come to a very intriguing understanding showing that Love can be shown and expressed in many, many different ways. Much of this is due in part of Anderson’s way of directing as with most of his movies he likes to look at the human being and examine the different choices and decisions that we all make to get what we want.

To conclude I would say that “Phantom Thread” is a very raw and intriguing look at the human relationship and how a person can be shown love in a very different way, sometimes unexpectedly. With a captivating performance by Daniel Day-Lewis who shares great chemistry with Vicky Krieps, I would highly recommend people to see “Phantom Thread”.

 

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