Movie Review: PHANTOM THREAD - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Terry's Take

Movie Review: PHANTOM THREAD

     Daniel Day Lewis has earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in the new movie called PHANTOM THREAD. 

     Lewis deserves the recognition, even thoughthe film itself is disappointing. 

     Reynolds: When I was a boy, I started hiding things in the linings of the garments. Things that only I knew were there.

     In PHANTOM THREAD, Daniel Day Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock, a brilliant and arrogant fashion designer, a maker of beautiful dresses in London during the1950’s.

     Reynolds is a fastidious man who considers himself a true artist. For his entire adult life, he’s been briefly obsessed with one lovely woman after another, each of whom inspired his creations. 

      But then he charms the wonderful Vicki Krieps (creeps) as Alma, a waitress who is not willing to be just another brief inspiration. 

Alma: If you want to have a staring contest with me, you will lose. You are a very handsome man. You must be around many beautiful women. Yes? Why are you not married?

Reynolds: I’m certain I was never meant to marry. I’m a confirmed bachelor. I’m incurable.

     It’s a fascinating set up, beautifully constructed by Oscar nominated director  Paul Thomas Anderson who serves as his own excellent cinematographer. 

     Inevitably, Reynold’s fascination with Alma begins to wane and she starts to assert herself. 

Alma: I don’t like the fabric.

Reynolds: Maybe, one day you’ll change your taste. 

Alma: Maybe, I like my own taste.

Reynolds: Just enough to get you into trouble.

Alma: Perhaps, I’m looking for trouble.

Reynolds: Stop!

      Before long their relationship devolves into bitter recriminations. 

Alma: Stop playing this game.

Reynolds: What game? What precisely is the nature of my game?

Alma: All your rules and your clothes and all this money and everything is a game. 

Reynolds: This is an ambush. 

Alma: Stop.

Reynolds: Are you sent here to ruin my evening? and possibly my entire life.

Alma: Stop it.

     But it’s what happens in that last third of the of the story that ruins this film for me. I won’t risk spoiling the experience for you, but I will say that what occurs is twisted as well as disappointing.

     In a way, the director’s obsession with the art of film mirrors the fashion designer’s obsession for the dresses he creates. The result is beautiful to look at but lacks true heart and soul.

     Terry Hunter, Hawaii News now.     thunter@hawaiinewsnow.com

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