Arriving almost as if in a time capsule from the early 1950s paul thomas andersons exquisitely idiosyncratic phantom thread extends an invitation into an exclusive cocoon occupied by card carrying eccentrics who demonstrate that all is fair in love and the world of haute couture. Less grandiose than the writer directors last three features as well as more precision controlled this is a melodrama of love desire and gamesmanship among three control freaks played out in a veritable hothouse in which the winner wil be determined by who wilts last.
More unconventional and downright weird on a moment to moment basic than it is in overall design and intent its a singular work played out mostly in small rooms that harks back to psychological melodramas of the 1940s/50s but hits stylistic notes entirely its own. Anderson ardent fans wil be the first in line while others will be drawn to see star daniel day lewis in what he has announced will be his final movie appearance. We can all hope he one day changes his mind.
The post world war II financial stres felt by most britons seems not to have encroached upon the exalted enclave of high fashion and neurotic self concern inhabited by dashing middle aged clothing designer reynolds woodcock day lewis. An elegant perfectionis whose clients seem to be mostly dowagers of a certain age willing and able to pay for elegant new garments every time they appear in society the often silent man has cultivated an air of imperturable self absorption and woe be to anyone with the effrontery to interrupt him when inspiration might hit at any moment. If the phrase genius at work had not already existed he would have had to invent it.
Phantom Thread A 1950 s Engish dress Designer Alongside Newcomer Vicky Krieps As His Muse,