- Gareth Crook
Phantom Thread (2017)
I was worried I’d struggle with this. It’s not a popular opinion, but I can take or leave Daniel Day-Lewis. I’ve seen him in things I’ve really liked. I’ve seen him in things I’ve really disliked. Where would this fall? Reynolds Woodcock designs, makes, obsesses over dresses. Obsesses over everything in fact. Living and working in London’s high society, he’s meticulous and detached. Sensitive and childish. Money isn’t in short supply, but his happiness found in perfection is. That is, until he meets Alma. In Alma he’s found a new muse, a soul he connects with, but also with the frame he’s been longing to dress. But which is more important. He’s controlling and quite honestly, a little bit creepy, but although he’s the centre of his universe and has the facade of strength, it’s the women in his life who truly wield the power, be it by inspiration, organisation or retaliation to his cruelty. His sister Cyril, played by Lesley Manville is magnificent, part complimentary part adversary to Reynolds’ pure art view of the world. Vicky Krieps as Alma isn’t scared of him either, learning to go toe to toe. This though is a challenge that Reynolds isn’t interested in. He craves control and their unorthodox relationship is destined for both misery and romance, as the slow pacing of the film accentuates a quiet, thoughtful rise and fall. It’s a strange love story, but engaging none the less and Daniel Day-Lewis is indeed excellent.