Phantom Thread (2017)

February 12, 2018 756 6 No Comments


Phantom Thread is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, set in London's couture world in the 1950s. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a couturier living with his sister, played by Lesley Manville. He falls in love with a young waitress, played by Vicky Krieps; the couple's relationship vacillates between affection and distance as they struggle to live with each other's differences.[6] The film was Day-Lewis's final film role before entering retirement.

The film is Anderson's first shoot outside the United States, with principal photography beginning in January 2017 in Lythe, England. It is his second collaboration with Day-Lewis, following There Will Be Blood (2007), and his fourth with composer Jonny Greenwood.

Phantom Thread premiered in New York City on December 11, 2017, and was released in the United States on December 25, 2017.[8] The film received critical acclaim, with praise for Day-Lewis's performance, Anderson's screenplay and direction, the musical score, and production value; it was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of 2017's top ten films.[9] At the 90th Academy Awards, the film earned six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Day-Lewis, and Supporting Actress for Manville. It also received two Golden Globe nominations: Best Actor – Drama (Day-Lewis) and Best Original Score,[10] as well as four at the 71st British Academy Film Awards, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Day-Lewis, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Manville, and Best Film Music for Greenwood.

In 1950s London, renowned fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock creates dresses and garments for members of high society. His charisma and genius is matched by his obsessive, controlling personality. Cyril, his sister, manages the day-to-day operations of his luxury fashion house "The House of Woodcock" and has significant influence over his life. Reynolds is haunted by the death of their mother, and stitches hidden messages into the linings of the dresses he makes.

After debuting a new piece for one of his clients, Reynolds visits a restaurant in the countryside and becomes interested in a waitress named Alma. He asks her out on a date, and she accepts. Their relationship develops, and she soon moves in with him and acts as his muse, assistant, and love interest. Cyril is initially distrustful of Alma but eventually gains respect for her willfulness and determination.

At first, Alma enjoys being a part of his creativity and seeing him work, but Reynolds proves hard to please and aloof. They bicker constantly; when Alma attempts to make him a romantic dinner, Reynolds lashes out over how the meal is prepared and repeats to her that he will not tolerate any deviations from the daily routines that he has worked hard at perfecting.

Wanting to regain her power in their relationship, Alma decides to poison his tea with some wild mushroom shavings she has gathered outside the house. As he readies a wedding gown for a Belgian princess, Reynolds becomes gravely ill and later hallucinates the ghost of his mother, but Alma takes care of him. He soon recovers, finds himself deeply moved by Alma’s devotion and asks her to marry him. She initially hesitates but agrees to marry.

The relationship goes well at first but soon devolves back to a pattern of bickering and fighting. As Reynolds feels his work severely affected by Alma's presence and their marriage, he concludes it may be time to send her away. Alma responds by poisoning his omelette, but this time Reynolds deduces what she has done. She informs him that she wants him to be weak and vulnerable so she alone can take care of him, help him get stress relief and regain his strength and creativity, just so she can poison him again. Reynolds accepts the idea and bites into the food, submitting to his dark love for her. As he lies sick, Alma imagines their future with children, a rich social life, and her running the dressmaking business as a partner. She acknowledges that while there may be challenges ahead, their love for each other and their new arrangement can overcome them.


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