Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread ★★★★

How true partnership is achieved: with poisonous mushrooms and a taste for pain. More or less the flip side of Punch-drunk Love, Anderson’s previous love movie, it is equally unbalanced with a taste of all-encompassing excess, but while that film was taking over by a sense of longing and Jewish neuroticism this one has a nasty perverse stroke and a desire to poke fun at upper-class property. Sandler’s Barry starts low and is moved to heights by love, while Day-Lewis’ Reynolds starts high and has to be bring down to his knees. Also this is Anderson’s funniest movie since that one, something that really should be underlined more. Since that time he most dedicated himself to a series of films on the intersection between Americana and capitalism and everyone left behind by it, some of that is still here in all the very descriptive material about the clothesline as well as Manville quiet performance. It is weird how people misread the film as being about an insufferable great artist, when it really is about how assembly line industrial “art” works, Reynolds is a great trademark for “art” who thinks he is an artist, not the real thing. Yet, the move to England and a more romantic theme does seem to animate him in ways he haven’t been before. Phantom Thread is more disciplined than the usual Anderson film, even if there still a certain unevenness to it (his attempts at Ophulsian tracking shots fall far behind Kubrick similar copycats even if he is closer to the feelings). And beyond all that there is Vicky Krieps smile full of knowledge that she got her man, how can one not love that?

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