John Gillispie: ‘Phantom Thread’ an unusual romance with strong acting

May 4, 2018 GMT

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “Phantom Thread,” which is rated R and available on DVD. The film was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who also wrote the movie’s screenplay.

“Phantom Thread” is a very unusual love story starring Daniel Day-Lewis as fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock and Vicky Krieps as Alma Elson.

Day-Lewis received an Oscar nomination for his work in the film as did Lesley Manville, who plays Cyril, the sister of Reynolds. Krieps is quite good in her role as well.

“Phantom Thread” depicts Reynolds as very absorbed in his work in the fashion industry. Cyril also is involved in the business, which has royalty among its clientele. Cyril seems devoted to her brother and helping him be a success. Yet, in one scene she makes it extremely clear to him that she will not tolerate being the subject of any verbal abuse from him.

When Reynolds first meets Alma, he is very charismatic with her, and she is charmed by him. So charmed, in fact, that it isn’t long before she allows him to start dressing her. Soon, Alma moves in and becomes a model for Reynolds’ work.

Once Alma has become a part of Reynolds’ life, he ignores her for periods of time as he frets over his work. She comes up with an unusual and dangerous way to get back into his life.

Eventually, Reynolds and Alma are married, and yet they seem to have established a peculiar pattern for how they are going to treat each other.

“Phantom Thread” is certainly an interesting film. While it is a film that I could appreciate for its performances and storyline, it is not a movie that I would want to watch a second time.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.