Has the acting career of the outstandingly incredible Daniel Day-Lewis taken the final bow with Phantom Thread? Well I hope he does a rethink.
Having a lot to savor for the connoisseurs of art having the desire to revisit the past, Daniel Day-Lewis in his final film reunites with director Paul Thomas Anderson after THERE WILL BE BLOOD – the masterly crafted saga of an oil man with a dead soul in which Day-Lewis stunned with an act that will be remembered for ages.
PHANTOM THREAD is an exquisitely weaved yarn of an intoxicating romance between a high profile dressmaker with his young muse sewed with a rich tapestry of a delightful old school melodrama having a beguiling embroidery of obsession and mischievous seduction. This ambitious English couturier dress set during the postwar era is beautifully clad in the winning acts of Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps.
Ambitious because Paul Thomas Anderson has never desired to go for an overwhelming mainstream sweep but here in this old school melodrama, a hidden ambition like the undefended obsession of Alma (Vicky Krieps) does ‘mushroom’ for a ‘period’ but overall it’s nostalgically intimating, pleasurable and sometimes a magical experience.
It’s circa 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style. We are introduced to Reynolds in a splendid five-story London townhouse where the influential and high profile dress designer lives and works also. A man of perfection with the undying fervor of an artiste, Reynolds’ morning begins with his sketching over tea, pastries and breakfast and he hates disturbance during his imaginations.
Facing a lean patch, Reynolds gets attracted to a beautiful German waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps) at the country hotel. Charmed by Alma’s beauty Reynolds dates her, he sees a never before seen muse in her and Alma comes to live with him as his assistant and model in London townhouse. As Reynolds’ passion for his outfits overpowers his compassion towards his favorite muse, Alma must try different means no matter if they appear wicked to get back the intimacy of the man she loves.
Anderson’s meticulous filmmaking has an eye for details and Jonny Greenwood’s soothing score transports you to the era where dress designers are heterosexuals and not imagined the way it is in today’s times in some cases.
Daniel Day-Lewis has the knack of playing difficult characters with élan and here the master actor delivers a performance which is rare – it’s charming, at times you have a feeling of hatred but nowhere does the relationship with the audience fades away even for a second. Daniel Day-Lewis is completely captivating in this nuanced profound brilliance. No doubt we will miss him.
Vicky Krieps does the unbelievable, she holds her own with the incredible Day –Lewis and stamps this sumptuous picture with her signature as well. While Day –Lewis is a pleasure in this intoxicating adage on the relationship between a master and a muse, The Luxembourgian actress dazzles with her elegance and the hidden darkness in her beauty. Excellent.
PHANTOM THREAD is a sheer pleasure if you cherish fine art dipped in nostalgia and of course regard Daniel Day-Lewis as one of the finest actor we have today. Is this his final picture?, well we are still hopeful, till then it’s time for some euphoria and remembrance with this film which has received six academy nominations including Best Actor and Best Picture.