• 4.5/5
Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread simply put, is a story about love, creativity and obsession. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Daniel Day Lewis in what was to be his last acting role, the film narrates the story of fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) and his tumultuous journey in balancing love and creativity.

In many respects the film belongs as much to Day-Lewis' performance as it does to Vicky Krieps - debuting as the obsessive designers love interest.

Far removed from the prototypical passive artistic muses, Alma (Krieps) wants to be an active agent in Woodcock's life and is unwilling to simply be piece of art to be admired from afar. This is a jarring development for Woodcock - someone who resembles less of a man than an object of pure obsession and habit.

Thus unsurprisingly begins a romance that is originally replete with marvel and doting but evolves into annoyance and eventually loathing.

What ensues in the eyes of many as a compromise on both their parts may seem disturbing or masochistic and devoid of all common sense - which is what makes this story - set in the upper echelons of British aristocracy and featuring a lead so removed from normal life - seem so human.

Anderson is uncharacteristically understated with his approach to the film which suits it perfectly. There's a delicate nature to the film, almost frail in a sense. Somewhat like the very dresses that embody the movie - this impeding sense of fragility - that it will collapse at the slightest touch - that it needs to be treated with the utmost care - much like the titular character of Reynolds Woodcock himself.

And rightfully so.

For a movie dealing with artistry, the artist and his muse, the slightest of touches is all that's needed as anything more heavy handed would desecrate the very art that should speak for itself.