By Marc S. Sanders
I remember how much I loved Anderson’s 90s films Boogie Nights and Magnolia as well as the hauntingly genuine There Will Be Blood. (Let’s not talk about Punch Drunk Love.) Still, I never expected to like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, but as soon as it began, I fell in love with it.
Daniel Day Lewis plays a perfectionist dressmaker adept at using women at his behest to sustain and elevate his craft. He’s a ruthless, maybe bipolar, villain and he will remain as one of cinema’s best actors for at least the next hundred years.
Anderson doesn’t just show his characters. He shows their specialties whether it’s dressmaking, porn, show biz or oil. The industry is its own character. Here he masterfully depicted the industry of clothes making.
Anderson offers a convincing education in dress design and fabric construction with the details and measurements it requires. Swatches of fabric never looked sexier amid a mid 20th century European backdrop. The dialogue is uncompromising in its humor, craft and cruelty both from and to its characters.
The ending was very obscure and strange though. Thankfully it happens quickly and is not dragged out, otherwise my opinion might be different.
This Best Picture nominee from 2017 is definitely worth a look.