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Phantom Thread

USA, English, 130 mins

  • Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Producer: Paul Thomas Anderson; Megan Ellison

CGiii Comment

He says it himself, Reynolds Woodcock is a confirmed batchelor [with a slight sibilance]...he is, first and foremost, a dressmaker...and, fashion designer for the elite.

Now...if these simple [fictional] facts don't ring the alarm bells as to his sexuality...then, nothing will!

Rather than being repressed [or, even, suppressed], Woodcock's sexuality is contained...by himself and by his all-consuming obsession...to make beautiful dresses, works of art. And, like all works of art, they need to be framed. He finds his perfect frame...in the form of Alma [the Spanish word for 'Soul'], a blushing waitress...with an ambition...to be more. Much more than she is...more than being taken for granted. More than being a once fawned-over pet...

Phantom Thread is a slow-burning, exquisite piece of filmmaking. For many, it's slowness may be the straw that breaks the camel's back...but, the intensity of the mind-games that ensue need time to fester and evolve. Because...these mind-games are poisonous, in every sense of the word.

In this relationship, there are elements of BDSM.... There's even a whiff of Munchausen-by-proxy...even Freud plays a hand or two in the proceedings.

As genteel as the veneer is...these 'lovers' chip away until they find a common ground...that satisfies both. It is - indeed - complex.

Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a romance like no other. It will, most definitely and definitively, polarize opinion. Bearing in mind: Whatever floats your own boat has the potential to sink others' - no doubt, judgments will be made and debated...but, there's no getting away from the majesty of the film. The music soars and swells. The lighting caresses and cares...the technical aspects of the film are faultless.

But...all eyes are transfixed on Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps...both performances worthy of Oscar nominations...as they delicately needle and nudge each other into their desired roles.

Phantom Thread is a masterclass...in filmmaking and performance. As a challenging as it is...it, most certainly, won't be everyone's cup-of-tea. Slow-burning as it is...every ember has the potential to become a blaze! An intensity that should not be missed.


The(ir) Blurb...

Set in the glamour of 1950's post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock's life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Cast & Characters

Vicky Krieps as Alma;
Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock;
Lesley Manville as Cyril;
Sue Clark as Biddy;
Joan Brown as Nana;
Harriet Leitch as Pippa;
Dinah Nicholson as Elsa;
Julie Duck as Irma;
Maryanne Frost as Winn;
Elli Banks as Elli;
Amy Cunningham as Mabel;
Amber Brabant as Amber;
Geneva Corlett as Geneva;
Juliet Glaves as Florist;
Camilla Rutherford as Johanna

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