“Phantom Thread” Review ✦✦✦✦✦

2 February, 2018

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Screenwriter: Paul Thomas Anderson
Director of Photography: Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville

Synopsis: A gifted dressmaker known for creating signature frocks that define the post-war London fashion scene finds a muse and companion in the form of a mousy young woman who stirs up the rigidity of his daily existence.

Phantom Thread Review:

Pinned to perfection with an impeccable sense of style, “Phantom Thread” is a cinematic daydream about the pains of precision, a flawless film addressing the sacrifice that comes with unblemished artistry as defined by one’s own markers of achievement. Exquisite, intoxicating cinema that’s one part dress drama, two parts dysfunctional romance, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest masterpiece relies yet again on the allure of character and costume as weighted performances and a meticulous screenplay leer from each frame with a stifling air of self-criticism.

Made for the silver screen with an aesthetic verging on pornographic for the dedicated cinephile, “Phantom Thread” is a gorgeously shot period piece with a visual intelligence far beyond the typical award season offering. Enraptured by a plane Jane with the perfect frame, the movie locks into a smitten vision, giving us reason to seek out the perfection in flushed cheeks, long necks, and flattened waistlines as a mannequin comes to life in each immaculate gown. It’s here that the film finds its true purpose, wrestling with inner turmoil and testing the stubbornness of its uppity characters whose ambiguous drive for meaning poses questions far beyond the scope of an everyday passion project.

Rejecting the women who define him while relying on their presence and companionship to support every second of his demanding existence, “Phantom Thread” sees an artist rebuff his most devoted supporters, turning him into a bitter and short-tempered visionary whose obsession with craft over interpersonal connection drives him deeper into his work. While the film could quite easily school viewers on the art of dressmaking, Paul Thomas Anderson opts instead for an icy character study, assessing the nature of romantic burden while toying with the idea that human love and creative genius can never wholly coexist without severe sacrifice along the way.


Review Date
Phantom Thread