Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread ★★★★½

"Marriage would make me deceitful, and I don't ever want that."

There's a moment in the middle of Phantom Thread where Daniel Day-Lewis' character, after staring at a plate of asparagus for a moment, summons a torrential wave of salt down upon the hapless vegetables. It's a comical amount of salt. He reminds his partner that he likes his asparagus with salt (and oil). She knew that. And he knew she knew that.

This is the saltiest movie of 2017. Delightfully salty, as it were.

Phantom Thread unfurls by way of Anderson's trademark boiling-pot tension, but this time the film (much like its central relationship) is shrouded in elegance to thinly veil the smolder; beautiful costumes, lovely set pieces, a splendid classical score. It simmers throughout, though, daring the audience to guess its next move. And then it goes to a place that you might not expect, revealing its theme completely in the final minutes.

The supporting players fill their roles nicely, but my goodness, is Daniel Day-Lewis ever at the top of his game here. His Reynolds Woodcock character is marvelously dickish, and he's transfixing even when he's simply reading the newspaper at breakfast. I relished every rude remark he threw at his peers; this movie is actually quite funny. (Fingers crossed that his retirement is short-lived.)

Sometimes we hurt the ones we love. Sometimes we do it because we want to be needed, and thus we purposefully put our loved ones in a time of need; sometimes we do it to try and convince our loved ones that we don't need them at all.

And sometimes all we want is an enormous, spectacular breakfast. (With sausage.)

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