Only a handful of directors in the whole industry get to make anything they want. Paul Thomas Anderson is in the group… not all his films are masterpieces, but a few are. I am not a huge fan, but I have seen all his films in the theater. “Phantom Thread” is a borderline masterpiece… a beautiful film that has all the elements of a classic, but still it’s sour and cynical. Bad love is better than no love at all.. nice message.
Daniel Day-Lewis is making this his final film (too bad?). He is still one of the best actors alive. See this movie just for this reason.
The mid-fifties setting, a high fashion genius is middle aged, high maintenance and uncomfortable with anything outside his inner space. He adventures into finding young lovers and discarding them as soon as they try to get close to him.
Three central characters are the genius, his sister/assistant, and his new lover/model (a waitress in need of a better life). Like a Harold Pinter play, the increase in tension to gain attention turns comical in a dry way, passive aggressiveness is all they know. The end result in the story is not predictable but acceptable.
Anderson made this film with perfection in detail, high caliber acting and I did like the fact that it’s a film that sticks with you after you leave. Oscar bound. Worthy!