There’s always one of these each Oscar season. The prestigious pic that critics are fawning over that absolutely bores me to death. Looking at it, I didn’t think I’d care for this film. I don’t go in for period pieces, especially romances, and on paper little about it seemed interesting. Even the draw of it possibly being Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film wasn’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, nothing but respect for the man, but I love others more. So why did I go now instead of waiting to see if any of the Awards chatter would result in major nominations? Writer director Paul Thomas Anderson. Magnolia is an all time favorite, and I’ve loved so many others of his earlier films. But Phantom Thread is kinda his third strike in a row for me.
DDL plays a dressmaker and owner of one of the most prestigious fashion houses in London. I later found out that the setting is the 1950’s but it feels older and stuffier than that. Anyways, he gets tired of yet another girlfriend and finds a young waitress Alma to be his lover and his muse. He’s seemingly all business while she’s falling head over heels. What part of this did we think I’d be into?
The film was elegant and stylish and a likely contender for costumes this awards season, but it wasn’t enough for me. Yes DDL gave a fantastic performance, but it wasn’t as flashy or impressive as his previous ones. I was actually more struck by his costar Vicky Krieps. She was the one who was captivating and interesting (relatively).
Long story short, I went to see this movie because it’s an Anderson film. But it didn’t really feel like one. The ending (no spoilers) had some of the danger I love from PTA, but it was such a slog to get there, I still didn’t feel like my time was well spent. The critical raves tell me I’m in the minority, and I totally get that. But this blog is about what I think, and I think I shoulda waited until if and when this became mandatory Oscar viewing.
Phantom Thread – \m/ \m/