Phantom Thread (2017) Review


In 1950s London we see how dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock whose life is turned around when he meets Alma a young woman who quickly becomes his muse and lover.


Let’s get it out the way and talk about how this is Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film before he retires, I guess that creates some buzz around it considering how renowned his method acting has become over the years. This was no different for this film and it certainly does make the character have a very intense feel.

The film is a slow burner but engaging enough at the same time. It’s a very different way to look at romance and love. I don’t really remember seeing this sort of relationship which at times feels very wrong and painful to be watching. They manage to create such a realistic feeling story that it doesn’t feel right watching it all unfold. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Alma at times and wonder why she even bothered to stick around and also at the same time wondered why Reynolds then kept her around. I guess that is the beauty of love you cannot always understand the love between two people, that is something I took from this and I think it is extremely deep.

Cyril his sister pretty much keeps everything running smoothly for Reynolds who has himself in a very unique routine which he believes helps him work better. This is something which Alma really prevents as she does not understand his rationale for having everything the same all of the time. That is a pretty interesting relationship the brother/sister bond which seems to be very strong, Cyril dealing with the many women he has had and become bored with in his life.

With Alma we see her as the waitress serving breakfast to then quickly becoming part of Reynolds life, we feel embarrassed for her at times. Especially in the initial dress and measuring scene! We understand her jealously as she watches the man she in love with work with the women when creating the dresses for them.

I will admit that I ended up so engrossed in the story I actually thought it was based on real people. It left me wanting to know more about Reynolds and Alma, what happened afterwards what pasts did they really have? So I guess that does show that the film managed to be very powerful. Slight disappointment when I found out it is all fictional!

Daniel Day Lewis is a fine actor you cannot deny that and this film certainly does help to show that he really is one of the best of his generation. I thought Lesley Manville was outstanding as Cyril and really stole so many of the scenes she was in, getting some fantastic lines. That was something Lewis was also spot on with the delivery of some rather cruel yet amusing lines. Vicky Krieps was very impressive opposite Lewis, especially when she had never met him before filming and only saw him in character. Must make for a very strange atmosphere on set!

The score was fantastic and haunting at times and I thought that was a big positive to show how trapped Woodcock was feeling at different stages of the film and relationship with Alma. Not being able to cope with how much she was consuming him. I had heard that the film was extremely boring and slow, I did not find it that way at all. I will admit that at times it was difficult to watch and a little bit strange and odd but is that not a good way to look at love? I certainly think so!



10 thoughts on “Phantom Thread (2017) Review

  1. Terrific review. I saw this over the holidays – a screener at home – and found it interesting, a bit frustrating, and then a bit haunting. As you rightly point out, impeccable acting across the board, and a directing style that is slow and deliberate, just as the characters are…can i recommend to everyone? Certainly not those who want some action, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking film that Lewis can be proud of

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of the negative comments I had seen from people, mainly on Facebook made me go in with very low expectations and I expected to be bored. That therefore did not happen at all. But you are right about recommending it to others, I don’t think I could tell someone to watch this as I feel they just wouldn’t like it.

      Liked by 1 person

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