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Movie review of: Phantom Thread

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“I’m Finished”

Want to know what coming to a theater near your? R&B has the scoop!

Want to know what coming to a theater near your? R&B has the scoop!

Photo by Matt McCabe

Want to know what coming to a theater near your? R&B has the scoop!

Photo by Matt McCabe

Photo by Matt McCabe

Want to know what coming to a theater near your? R&B has the scoop!

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Those final words spoken by Daniel Day-Lewis in his previous collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson (If you don’t count the bloopers in the credits) take on new meaning with Day-Lewis’ recent announcement that Phantom Thread would be his last film before retirement. This is a great choice for Day-Lewis since it basically guarantees him two Oscars. One for this movie and one in 10 years or so when he decides to come out of retirement.

Now Paul Anderson, who’s directing Phantom Thread, I don’t know about this guy. He made The Master, sure, he also made all those Resident Evil movies. Magnolia and Mortal Kombat? Magnolia being the negative in that example. How about following up Punch Drunk Love with Alien vs. Predator? I mean the guy’s inconsistent. So DDL chose to end his career with the man responsible for the Death Race remake with Jason Statham. Great, great choice. Anyway, as for Phantom Thread, well, it’s no There Will Be Blood, not really much of a slight against it though.

Daniel Day-Lewis is obviously terrific in the role of Reynolds Woodcock, that’s right, Reynolds Woodcock. His performance is more Age of Innocence than Gangs of New York, not so much screaming, more restrained. Unfortunately there is no bowling pin head smash in this, which I think it could have benefited greatly from. Starring alongside Day-Lewis is Vicky Krieps, who manages to do something that few actors can, share the screen with him as an equal. There’s also Lesley Manville, who’s up for best supporting actress. She’s good, but not as good as Krieps. If I was running the Academy, I’d have nominated her instead, and bumped her up to actress, drop the supporting. Then again, if I was running the Academy Awards I’d probably be doing a lot of things differently, like not having them.

In Paul Thomas Anderson’s quest to emulate Kubrick (He’s seemingly done with Altman and Scorsese) he’s now come to Barry Lyndon. Just like Kubrick’s film, Phantom Thread is a visual marvel. There’s that same painting like look to every shot, though not to the same extreme as Barry Lyndon. Like as far as I know, it wasn’t shot entirely with natural light, which was really an insane undertaking, and it’s probably for the best that Anderson didn’t do something like that. When the first trailer for Phantom Thread was released, there was lots of speculation about what it actually was. Will it be a straightforward period piece as presented, or is there something darker lurking beneath? Well I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that it’s the type of movie that will probably play better on a second watch, once you really know what’s going on. That’s not to say it wasn’t good the first time around, it was, it’s just that the final scenes really change your perspective on the rest of the film. It’s also very funny, if you find buttering toast or pouring water loudly funny, which it would seem I do. If you go into it as a black and very dry comedy, I think you’ll be satisfied.

As far as Anderson’s filmography goes I think I’d rank it below There Will Be Blood and right under The Master, really great stuff.

Alright enough about all that, let’s talk about Daniel Day-Lewis. He’s not actually retiring, right? I give it 10-15 years before he comes back. And the man’s a nut, so he’ll be probably preparing for some role the whole time, a method retirement. What I’d like to see though? Two things. I’d like him to play a role in a future Fast and Furious movie. The last one had Helen Mirren make an appearance as Jason Statham’s mother, so why the hell not? I’m thinking a villain role, DDL as a Spanglish speaking drug lord is the stuff dreams are made of. Remember before what I said about being able to share the screen with him as an equal? I think Vin Diesel definitely has that quality. The other route he should take if he can’t join the #FastFamily is pulling a De Niro and turning to comedies. Picture it, you’re watching The Love Guru 2 or Soul Plane: Reloaded or something and suddenly a 3 (Soon to be 4) time Oscar winner shows up. It needs to happen.

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