Phantom Thread

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Phantom Thread (2017)

Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville

Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) is a renowned dressmaker who demands a well-ordered life. This routine is disrupted when he welcomes a willful and outspoken young woman (Krieps) into his life.

This is another creation from the mind of the uniquely talented Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master). The cast for this film features Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Vicky Krieps (A Most Wanted Man), and Lesley Manville (Mr. Turner).

This is a uniquely crafted story with an undercurrent of suspense that flows beneath a story that is rich in drama and romance. The writing does an excellent job of lighting the fuse early, allowing the audience to follow this slow burn with anticipation. The dialogue is sometimes poetic and sometimes harsh and abrupt. The film doesn’t give a lot of information away, and instead allows for interpretation. The payoffs in the film are powerful and unexpected. This movie tells an emotionally charged story that succeeds at a high level from beginning to end.

This film features a trio of incredible performances from the stars. Reynolds Woodcock comes to life with another incredible performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. He becomes the dressmaker, making each moment feel believable. The intensity of the film benefits from his genuine emotional responses. Daniel Day-Lewis also connects wonderfully with Krieps and Manville. Vicky Krieps delivers an equally powerful performance in this one.

Her performance works from both ends of the emotional scale, often changing within a single scene. She handles the part with great skill and holds her own opposite both of her co-stars. Lesley Manville adds something special to this movie with her performance. Like the others, Manville seems to have connected with the emotional core of the story. This trio are joined by a number of other talented people, but their roles are central to the film and combine to make this one feel very special.

Paul Thomas Anderson brings a unique visual style to the films he works on. Not only did he write and direct this one, but he also served as the director of photography. Despite these many roles, Anderson rose to the occasion and made something wonderful. The visuals help to create that underlying tension and allow it to burn slowly. The use of color and light help to make every scene feel beautiful. The movie also features a wonderful score composed by Jonny Greenwood (We Need to Talk About Kevin).

This is a unique cinematic experience that fans of the stars or Anderson need to see. The actors create fascinating characters that live within Anderson’s story. While the story might not play like most Hollywood films, the payoff is still worth watching for. This is a powerful story with moments of joy, but it’s also a gritty film that gets into the darker side of the people involved. If you like great drama this is one to see. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 130 Minutes

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