‘The Phantom Thread’ | Movie Review - Republic-Times | News

‘The Phantom Thread’ | Movie Review

By on January 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Paul Anderson’s latest film “The Phantom Thread” will undoubtedly leave audiences with a decision to make. If one is a patient viewer who is able to watch a movie scene by scene, allowing a story to be told, then this movie will be met with favorable comments.  However, for the movie goer who needs lots of action and other bells and whistles to keep his or her attention, I’m afraid this movie won’t be your favorite by any means. I am hoping that the former is the case. I thought it was excellent.

We meet Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), a dressmaker who has built a successful fashion business with his sister Cyril (the mesmerizing, laser-eyed Lesley Manville) while dressing the elite, upper-crust of London. Their days are spent with meticulous routine, with Woodcock having everything just so; an uninterrupted breakfast, very detailed business dealings, and carefully choreographed appointments with clients. Along the way, Woodcock allows himself female companionship but discards the latest model/muse like outdated fabric, usually business manager Cyril who seems to handle all the details of his life. When he meets Alma (the phenomenal Vicky Krieps), he expects another such relationship but is met with surprises, not only in how Alma changes the dynamics of the house, but also his own feelings. It is a scene-by-scene, often slow movie, yet it is crafted in such a way that the audience stays engaged, interested, and hopeful.

Strange, quirky, unsettling, sensual, and complex. Yes. And that’s just the beginning.

Daniel Day-Lewis, one of our all-time greatest, gives us a character with such depth that we are appalled and enamored at the same time. Vicky Krieps, an upcoming international star if there ever was one, is capable of matching Day-Lewis and is even able, dare I say it, to steal a few scenes from him. Lesley Manville, in this supporting role, is exquisite and leaves us wanting to see her more.  She’s a powerhouse no matter how small the role.

The acting is flawless, the story is beautiful and dark, and the scenes are breathtaking in many parts. 

There were plenty of everyday Joes like me in the audience who said it was great. That’s a pretty big compliment, especially from male audience members. You’ll understand that more when you see it.

Know what you are getting into before you go, but do see it.  It may not be your cup of tea, as I said, but you may end up being pulled in. It’s spellbinding and haunting.

 As one lady in the audience said: “Well, that was different. But I loved it.”

“Phantom Thread” opens Friday and is rated “R” for language.  It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville. Running time is 2 hours and 10 minutes. The film was written and is directed by Paul Thomas-Anderson.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.