Phantom Thread


D: Paul Thomas Anderson

Focus Features/Annapurna/Perfect World (Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, JoAnne Sellar & Daniel Lupi)

US 2017

130 mins


W: Paul Thomas Anderson

DP: Paul Thomas Anderson (uncredited)

Ed: Dylan Tichenor

Mus: Jonny Greenwood

PD: Mark Tildesley

Cos: Mark Bridges

Daniel Day-Lewis (Reynolds Woodcock), Vicky Krieps (Alma Elson), Lesley Manville (Cyril Woodcock), Camilla Rutherford (Johanna), Gina McKee (Countess Henrietta Harding), Brian Gleason (Dr. Robert Hardy), Harriet Samson Harris (Barbara Rose)

It's a huge shame that Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement from acting prior to the release of this film, before Paul Thomas Anderson had even selected a title for it.

Like Anderson's other works, it will be divisive amongst audience members half of whom will call it a masterpiece whilst the rest will label it pretentious. For me, it leans much closer to the former description.

Day-Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock, a haute couture dressmaker in 1950's London, running his fashion house with his overbearing sister who tolerates his incredibly pernickety mannerisms and rather misogynistic view towards women, who he sees as muses for his fashion and nothing more.

The story mostly focuses on his romantic relationship with Alma, a French waitress with whom he becomes attracted to, but their vast differences force a wedge between them.

Paul Thomas Anderson draws on various inspirations for his vision, including many tropes from classic fairytales which you may miss on an initial viewing, as well as Freudian psychology which will be a little more apparent. The acting from the ensemble cast is spectacular, especially Daniel Day-Lewis who deservedly earned another Oscar nomination for his work, while Vicky Krieps is splendid with her breakthrough performance.

It's not for everyone, but for those who appreciate the director's other films, this will be considered amongst his very best works. Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and deservedly so in my opinion.


Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread
Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread