Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread ★★★★½

More tk at Mubi but this is an achingly beauteous and painful portrait of a complicated, toxic co-dependent relationship. Empathetic without veering into saccharine, it has flawed, yearning, damaged, flesh-and-blood characters (though no one acts or talks like people; the film adheres to a weird but consistent internal logic) that, while retaining the self-destructive and selfish tendencies of PTA’s other characters, feel more complicated, worth caring about instead of just watching them destroy themselves. Anderson, who has in the past occasionally been hobbled by heavy-handedness and an affinity for irrational WTF moments, here has a touch as light as gossamer. The pervasive score is Greenwood’s best to date, all chaotic strings and seasick swoony washes, and the camera movements, slow pushes and graceful pivots and contemplative (but never predictable) pans display a sort of newfound maturity for the filmmaker. This is the first PTA film you can call “low-key.” It’s also my favorite film of 2017.