Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” featuring Daniel Day – Lewis as middle-aged British fashion designer, Reynolds Woodcock, is sure to appeal to many film fans that admire his work, as well as enjoy a good romance drama. This character who seems to have everything he wants, even to excess, is one that is both appealing as well as maddening in some ways – especially the fact that he is a womanizer. Set in 1955, he acquires and “releases” the women as if they are objects. Readers who have arrived this far in the description of Woodcock and wish to continue learning about him will be pleasantly surprised when the bachelor meets Alma (Vickey Krieps) when he outs to his country home for the weekend. Her simple manner and beauty is something engaging for someone on the prowl, but don’t doubt just how smart and X she is prepared to deal with the man who has a huge appetite.
One of the positive aspects of this romance film is that it is presumed they eventually sleep together while residing in his home/work space, we do not see the actual activity or naked bodies engaging in sexual activity. Nor is it necessary as we see how Woodcock is overcome by his new love.
Not only does Alma win him over, she has a package deal with Reynolds’ sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville), his business partner and constant companion in a way that might raise some eyebrows as to why. Seems as if little brother asks and gets what he wants – always – as she makes sure it happens. One hilarious scene involves the use of the word “chic” and the discussion that they engage in.
It is impossible not to mention the beautiful costumes, as this dressmaker works with many elaborate fabrics, including 16th-century Flemish lace among others.
Jonny Greenwood’s musical score is perfect for each scene, and worthy of an award nomination.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s script is engaging as we watch this macho bully who demands everything from the lover in the relationship, yet refuses to actually commit to anything but his work. Alma wants to have some control and input to their daily life and when she does not get what she desires, she takes charge. Woodcock may not know what hit him and we see him try to adjust.
Additional cast includes: Camilla Rutherford, Gina McKee, Brian Gleeson, Harriet Sansom Harris, Lujza Richter and Julia Davis among the large amount of actors involved.
MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 130 MIN. Austin Release Date: January 12th
By Liz Lopez
Source: Focus Features