Hey guys. I’m trying to get as many Oscar nominations seen as I can so that my article on the winners can be more thorough, so with that in mind, I saw Phantom Thread.
SITWOL: A dress-making prodigy becomes interested in yet another young woman.
Phantom Thread is a great movie that is what I would call a “slow-burn”. The entire film has a very slow, ominous tone and pace, and I was really impressed with how much tension the film was able to create with such little effort. There were a few scenes that made me more uneasy than almost every horror film I’ve ever seen, and I wouldn’t even call the film “scary” or “disturbing” (though there are a few actions in this film that can definitely can be considered disturbing if you think about them for a while).
Daniel Day-Lewis is as engrossed in his character as he usually is. If this won him an Oscar, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m not sure what his chances are since I haven’t seen many Leading Male nominees yet, but I’ll let you know when I see all the performances.
Vicky Krieps was really amazing, and the way her character plays off Day-Lewis’s was intriguing, entertaining, and sometimes even shocking. If this movie was in another year where the Lead Female Nomination category wasn’t so freaking strong, then I think Krieps would have gotten a nomination (she was certainly better than Meryl Streep, but not as well loved by Hollywood).
Lesley Manville was also crazy good.
All the technical aspects of this film are nearly flawless. In fact, and this might be weird to say, but this is the first film that I can think of in a long time where the sound editing had such an amazing impact on the film. The fact that Phantom Thread isn’t nominated for Sound Editing or Sound Mixing is insane (I’m trying very hard not to throw a jab at The Last Jedi, guys… ah screw it)… but hey I guess beamy lightsaber sounds and porg noises are more impressive, eh?
Some of the sounds in this film are their own characters in their own sense.
Phantom Thread is not a film that I would call “straight-forward”. In fact, when I got out of the movie, I started unsuccessfully wondering what the point of the entire story was. The film is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, director of “The Master” and “There Will Be Blood”… two other movies that are kind of ambiguous about what exactly they’re about.
However, the more I thought about Phantom Thread, the more I started to realize some of the stuff it was trying to say. I’d go more in-depth, but I’m not about to spoil the film.
Also, again, this is a film that many would consider “slow”, so if that’s something you can’t tolerate, you won’t like it.
Phantom Thread is highly tense, precise, and phenomenally acted. Is it profound? Well… it depends on your point of view. I personally don’t find it profound, but I’m willing to be persuaded. This is a film that may very well benefit from a second viewing, but it’s not like Phantom Thread is a “lazy afternoon” movie, so it will likely be a very long time until I view it again.
If you have a taste for excellent film craft, I would highly recommend this movie. If you don’t have patience for slow-burn films that aren’t very straightforward, you probably won’t enjoy Phantom Thread.
8 out of 10