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PHANTOM THREAD, a different kind of love story


Paul Thomas Anderson has given the world many thought provoking and beautifully executed films and Phantom Thread is no different. With the help of his favorite actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anderson captures the complexity of a visionary, yet difficult personality, while grasping some of the fashion momentum of the 50s. Vicky Krieps, playing Alma, is right there with Lewis in building a captivating, often toxic symbiosis of a relationship.

"Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s script is impossible to classify. One moment, we think we are watching a fashion movie. The next, the film turns into a love story, a twisted and fantastical one with a very morbid core which takes its tempo from the swirling, orchestral Jonny Greenwood score.

The setting is London in the early 1950s. The filmmakers have gone to extraordinary lengths to recreate the period accurately but seem somehow to have forgotten about one crucial element – namely the class system. Certain key plot points simply aren’t explained. [...] With its glimmering close ups of Krieps and Day-Lewis, strange plot twists and constant use of music, the film at times resembles those equally bizarrely plotted Hollywood melodramas from the 1940s in which Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would play the long-suffering heroines or one of those Hitchcock films in which we can’t work out whether the main characters are in love or want to murder one another.

It has the feel of a psychoanalytic case study. Alma his helping Reynolds exorcise the memory of his mother and enabling him to see women as more than just mannequins who wear his dresses. To do this, she teaches him what it means to be dependent and helpless. The film has plenty of humour, some of it very arch. You’ll never regard mushroom omelettes in quite the same way after you see how Alma cooks them here. Anderson uses sound editing in ingenious fashion." (Independent)


"As Reynolds and Alma circle one another, figuring out their dynamic by testing and prodding to see where boundaries lie, something like actual parity gradually develops between them. I won’t say how, exactly, because that would be something of a spoiler. But by the film’s lovely, darkly amusing end, it’s become clear that Reynolds and Alma have found some corresponding need and understanding within each other, that theirs is a bond that works because it sometimes breaks, because it’s dramatic and odd and makes a bizarre kind of sense only to them.

Which is a hell of a testament to a marriage (unofficial or not), isn’t it? After seeing the film, I found myself thinking how touched I would be if I were Rudolph, watching a film that’s so ardently honest (if a bit exaggerated) about the charged and complex exchanges of couplehood, the peculiar compromises of commitment. There’s a “you and me babe, against the world” kind of vibe to Phantom Thread—it winks with the conspiratorial coziness of a private joke. It’s fiercely romantic, in its improbable way. Cyril does not get shoved off to the side, either. Her and her brother’s relationship gets its fair due, its own affectionate assessment. (How often are brother-sister dynamics between older people explored in cinema? Not very!) What initially seems like another alienating P.T.A. outing reveals itself, in quiet but glorious bursts, to be a wry and heartfelt love poem." (Vanity Fair)

"“Phantom Thread” is Anderson’s eighth feature, and the first to be set almost exclusively in Britain. The era is the mid-nineteen-fifties, which means that the gowns created by Reynolds for his wealthy (and sometimes royal) clients are of a rarefied and formal allure that feels as distant as the court of Versailles. Not the least of the movie’s joys is the roster of unflappable seamstresses, with years of experience, on whom he relies; in the course of one especially taxing night, they have to repair a wedding dress that has been tainted and torn, to be ready by 9 a.m. As for Day-Lewis, he strikes the eye as ineffably dapper, with a hint of the sacerdotal; in the opening minutes, he pulls on a magenta sock, buffs the toe cap of a shoe, and, wielding a pair of hairbrushes, sweeps back his lightly silvered locks with solemn care, as if robing himself in a vestry. Yet this is not a film that dwells on style. It is a film possessed by a fear that style alone, or the quest for it, can cramp the soul." (The New Yorker)

"As for the phantom thread of the title, the phrase apparently refers to the ghostly yarn that would haunt Victorian seamstresses, their exhausted fingers compulsively repeating sewing motions long after their work was done. But it could also invoke the lock of his mother’s hair that Reynolds has sewn into the canvas of his coat, keeping her always close to his heart. She taught him his trade and, aged just 16, he created a wedding dress for her. It’s a task Reynolds appears to have been repeating ever since – making dresses fit for his mother, waiting for someone to fill them and to take her place." (The Guardian)

Watch the trailer below.

Tags:   news, trailer, drama, film news, Phantom Thread

Related:   Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread



  • AntMan2018   239 posts
    5 months ago
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