I still don’t know what Paul Thomas Anderson was thinking with Inherent Vice. As I wrote at the time, that film was so out of character for PT Anderson as to be unrecognizable. Phantom Thread represents, at least relatively speaking, a return to form. I say relatively speaking, because unlike his past projects, I doubt that this film will stick with me over the years so strongly — but only time will tell I suppose. The edginess of his earlier cinematic style seems missing, or at least transformed.
Still, Phantom Thread is a strong and lovely picture. The RT consensus:
Phantom Thread‘s finely woven narrative is filled out nicely by humor, intoxicating romantic tension, and yet another impressively committed performance from Daniel Day-Lewis.
Day-Lewis’s foil, his co-star, was fantastic as well. Katie Walsh:
Paul Thomas Anderson’s enigmatic romance “Phantom Thread” is a mystery. Not of the murder kind, but of the heart, posing questions of love, power and submission. The mystery? Who’s in control?
If you go in expecting a Daniel Day-Lewis movie, you’ll walk away with a Vicky Krieps movie, and we’re all the better for it. The Luxembourgian actress will sweep you off your feet.
It’s endlessly fascinating to watch the actor and artist behind the camera (sharers in the same creative obsession) negotiate a hard truce between art and life. Anderson is deliberate and cunning about revealing the secrets he’s sewn into the fabric of his spellbinder of a film. Taking full measure of Phantom Thread may require more than one viewing – a challenge any genuine movie lover will be eager to accept. Our advice for now: just sit back and behold.
Looking over all these reviews makes me think the film may stick with me more so than I am now thinking. Certainly, the performances are absolutely riveting — perhaps more so than any picture of the last year. For now, considered among the films of 2017: about on par with Lady Macbeth. 8/10