Phantom Thread movie review - BookMyShow

Phantom Thread: Film Review – Dressed For Success

Verdict: Daniel Day-Lewis bids farewell to the big screen with a grand performance.

Daniel Day-Lewis is undoubtedly one of the finest actors we have ever witnessed. We first saw him in Richard Attenborough’s historical drama, Gandhi (1982), but it wasn’t until 1989 that he won his first Academy Award for My Left Foot. He went on to win two more Oscars for Best Actor – There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012) – making him the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category. The next generation will never have the opportunity to see the actor on the big screen as he retires from acting after his latest film, Phantom Thread. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this drama film has been nominated for the Oscars 2018 in six categories – Best FilmBest DirectorBest ActorBest Supporting ActressBest Original Score, and Best Costume Design.

What’s Phantom Thread About:

Daniel Day-Lewis plays renowned dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock, who makes dresses for high-society women. His business is co-managed by his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), who overlooks the operations of their label. Reynolds develops an attraction for a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps). Eventually, she goes on to become his muse and lover. Reynolds is very particular about his schedule and does not appreciate any change in his set lifestyle. Alma brings trouble with her and is determined to disrupt his fastidious life, even if it means having to make Reynolds vulnerable and at her mercy.

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What Works:

Daniel Day-Lewis brings his best to every character and this movie is no different. While the role might not have required the kind of method acting the actor is known for, he is every bit as convincing as a British dressmaker of the 1950s. He brings in an element of grace and poise only the rich of that time could have. Vicky Krieps does her best to match up to the performance of this legendary actor and she succeeds. She shares equal screen presence and their starkly contrasting personalities only add to the chemistry. Leslie Manville also delivers a commendable performance and in one particular scene, she overpowers even Day-Lewis. 

Besides the performances of the actors, the music plays an important role in setting the mood. Classical music has been used as a background score and the piano plays to the intensity of each scene. Jonny Greenwood has certainly done a great job here and is one of the favorites this Oscar season. Costumes are very important to the premise of this film and the beautiful gowns used in the film are simply gorgeous to look at.

What Could Have Been Better:

The pace of the film is slow as it is trying to capture the era it is set in. For most of the movie, you are unsure where the story is leading, as the trailer does not give away much of the film’s plot.

Why You Should Watch:

If you are a fan of Hollywood dramas, there’s no reason good enough to miss this Oscar-nominated film. Watch it for its aesthetic value, the dark romance between Vicky Krieps and Daniel Day-Lewis, and of course, for his (last) performance.