Daniel Day Lewis is a genius. Having tackled so many different characters throughout his career (he took home 3 Oscars as a result), he oddly insisted that his role as Reynolds Woodcock, a British dressmaker in the 1950’s would be his very last. A damn shame? You bet. But what a sendoff. Working with the Master himself Paul Thomas Anderson once again (they previously did wonders with “There Will Be Blood”), Lewis dazzles in a film that alludes to 1950’s films, but it’s a richly detailed piece of work all its own, a love story that dares to take its time. As a fashion icon, Lewis’ Woodcock dresses royalty and socialites with the help of his sister Cyril (a deliciously creepy Lesley Manville). But he barely has time (or patience) to keep a relationship alive. Enter Alma (Vicky Krieps), a woman who falls for him almost instantly, unaware of how cruel he can be. Lewis’ method acting is at the peak of its power. His harsh, almost empty look and expressive body language manage to convey all the turmoil going on in his head. We fully comprehend why he is such a tortured soul, but we can’t help feeling sorry for Alma, which leads to a series of unpredictable events. “Marriage would make me deceitful and I don’t ever want that” he says. Part of Paul Thomas Anderson’s appeal is his effortless recreation of time and place, and “Phantom Thread” is no exception. By shooting in beautiful locations and focusing on tiny details, he never has to sell the idea that we’re in 1950’s London; we simply believe it. From the stunning dresses to Jonny Greenwood’s haunting score, “Phantom Thread” is a feast for the eyes. And Lewis, wearing his role like a second skin, delivers yet another landmark performance. It’s a thing of beauty and terror. Same goes for the movie.
Categories: 2010 - 2017, 3.5/4, drama, romance, The Twenty-First Century
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