ayad’s review published on Letterboxd:
it is a common theme in movies to tackle the idea of striving towards greatness and all the sacrifices and losses that occur while on that weary road. its been done so many times before and i had my doubts here but phantom thread is different, the so called "protagonist" of the story is well beyond his peak as we see him as a master of his craft already. that is exactly when alma comes in, changing everything forever. what was once a slow and quiet life is interrupted by a loud and lively youthfulness . the dynamic between reynolds and alma seems so very simple at times, after all she is only a piece of his art, but at other times we can truly see just how convoluted their relationship really is. everything in reynolds world is so meticulous and detailed there is no room for error or any imperfections, on the other hand his lover is so beautifully flawed and she may very well be completely lost. but, that is the magnificence of these characters, reynolds fixes alma, he shows her how magical she is and how beautiful she is through what he knows best. unfortunately that has a limit, and daniel day lewis so powerfully portrays his characters obsession with perfection i honestly dont believe that anything can be said about his acting anymore, its just breathtaking. alma comes in like a thorn in his side, a gorgeous lovely thorn but a pain nonetheless, shattering all his ideals and complicating everything. the way all this tension and friction plays out makes it feel like two opposing forces are coming straight at each other and their collision is going to cause something traumatic to happen. the more i think about their interactions the more i realize just how important each and every single word shared is.
as the movie lumbers on i started to notice the stuff that are regularly present in all of PTAs films, the amazing development and attention that goes into every single frame and the familiar complexity that keeps his movies stuck in my head for days. as usual i have a lot more to say but im going to leave some stuff for when i watch this again because it definitely requires a closer more attentive re-watch which i will definitely give it.