peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2018 01 25 PhantomThread

Phantom Thread

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The Ritz, 6:30pm, advanced screening: booked Jan 17, $11 member price + $1.50 online fee = $12.50. It got moved from theatre 2 to 5, which was not packed; I guess it was not as popular as they expected.

This is P. T. Anderson's latest feature. Daniel Day-Lewis was excellent in their previous joint venture There will be Blood a decade ago, and is similarly quite fine here, in what he claims to be his final outing as an actor. His character is posessed of a droll wit paired with rumblings of genius, about which I cannot opine as I have no taste in dresses (which were generally banal, I felt). The audience indulged his every utterance. Vicky Krieps as Alma gamely goes up against the old master, and dominates all her other scenes. Her mushroom work reminded me of Florence Pugh's in Lady Macbeth, albeit with doubleplus sensuality. Lesley Manville is all unbreachable steely reserve.

The pacing of this 1950s character study is slow. The music is provided by Jonny Greenwood, the social classes by England. It is hardly a universal story, and at times Anderson may have been better to completely abandon plot, as he so wilfully does in the powerfully intimate closing scenes. I was often waiting for something to happen, just like Alma: fully engaged.

Dana Stevens. A. O. Scott. Geoffrey O’Brien.