I don’t typically watch dramas. I much prefer the latest action, family or comedy movies, but after a challenge from my team, I decided to watch the Phantom Thread.
Set in 1950’s London, the movie quickly establishes the main character, Reynolds Woodcock, as a famous and demanding dressmaker that despite trying to find love, he has up until this time been unsuccessful. That is until he meets Alma, a spunky waitress who serves him breakfast one morning. He is immediately taken by her and begins to bring her into his world of creating beautiful dresses. While prior love interests became tiresome to him, Alma shows a real spine, standing up to Reynold’s idiosyncrasies that help him towards self-actualization. Do they find love? Hard to say. You probably have to judge for yourself.
Spoiler Alert (skip this paragraph if you do not want to hear about the most exciting scenes). There are a couple of scenes of excitement from their dinner with a fight about Asparagus to the time Alma’s ultimate attempt to get Raymond’s attention. I was expecting a bit more, but as noted previously, this is not in my go to genres.
As with many period dramas, the dialogue was drab and the pace was slow. The scenery and cinematography was very well done and Daniel Day Lewis remains talented even though this was not one of my favorite roles for him. Alma, played by Vicky Krieps, comes out of near obscurity to put in a nice performance. Sister Cyril, Woodcock’s protector, spends much of the movie scowling which was disappointing, as this role could have brought so much more. There were glimpses of greatness, but it fell a bit short.
This movie will not be for everyone; I had a hard time getting through it. Nevertheless, it has its moments musically and cinematically and those that enjoy fashion will be drawn to the art throughout. For others, this is one you may want to skip.