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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Phantom Thread

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2sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is BAD Judy Thorburn

judy-thorburn-editorLas Vegas Round The Clock - www.lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Women's Film Critic Circle - www.wfcc.wordpress.com
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2lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is BAD

 

Phantom Thread

Daniel Day Lewis re-unites with his “There Will Be Blood” writer/director, Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread, in what the Oscar winning actor has said will be his final on screen performance. Time will tell if that is true or not. In any case, once again the acclaimed actor delivers another masterful performance in a movie that, as far as I am concerned, is highly overrated and does not deserve an Oscar nomination for Best Film.

Day Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock, a much sought after, London based, 1950's era dressmaker/designer to the wealthy and royalty, who is self absorbed, obsessive, arrogant and demanding. In other words, although considered a creative genius, he is quite an unlikeable fellow.

A confirmed bachelor, who rids himself of girlfriends as soon as they cease to inspire him, Reynolds lives with his also never married sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville), whom he is totally dependent on and runs his business, known as the House of Woodcock. It appears the only woman he has ever loved and constantly dreams about is his deceased mother, whose locks of hair he secretly sews into his designs.

The story kicks into gear when Reynolds meets a much younger restaurant server named Alma (Luxemburg actress, Vicky Krieps) while away in the country, who quickly becomes his live in muse, mannequin and lover. Their relationship is the crux of the film and it is a very dysfunctional one at that. Reynolds lives by his own strict set of rules and berates anything that he perceives interferes with his daily activities or mindset. Although Reynolds begins to fall in love with her and vice versa, he views her as an “interruption” which sets the stage for a series of verbal and emotional abuse and over the top control that dictates their relationship. Living a life of luxury and parading in gorgeous designer clothes is one thing, but being the target of rude, insulting, cruel behavior is another, and eventually, Alma comes up with a “sick” (in more ways than one) plan to turn the tables on him.

Beautiful cinematography, gorgeous set designs, costumes, and splendid acting aside, Phantom Thread, labeled a dark romantic tale, is disturbing, twisted, very unsettling, and ultimately, unsatisfying.

One of the film’s most memorable lines is when Alma brings Reynolds tea while he is working. He didn’t request it and after expressing his anger about how she dare do something he didn’t plan, he states, “The tea is leaving, but the interruption is staying right here with me!”

Make that two hours of my interrupted time watching this film and that sort of sums it up for me.


 

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