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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Brodey

Phantom Thread: One Of My Favorite Films

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Phantom Thread is a 2017 drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It's a love story that takes place in 1950s London. One word that best describes this film is exquisite. I'll be discussing why this is one of my favorite films, so if you haven't seen it then I'd highly recommend it.

I have a fun memory that revolves around this film. Back when this came out, I went to New York City with my mother to sign with a modeling agency. I was really into modeling/acting back then so I was able to experience that life in NYC. While we were there, Phantom Thread was released in NYC and LA, so we got tickets and got to see it. Seeing the film in that large theater is an experience I'll never forget. That was a fun time for me in my life at that point.

I can’t go any further without mentioning the score. The music by Jonny Greenwood is one of the best film scores I've ever heard. As soon as the film starts we hear the beautiful music come in and set the tone. The music elevates this film into a whole other level. I listen to it constantly. I'm happy he was nominated for an Oscar but he should've won in my opinion.

I really like the story of this film. Like I said, it's a love story that takes place in 1950s London. Reynolds Woodcock is a fashion icon but he's also very peculiar with his life. It's not until he meets Alma that causes him to rethink his lifestyle. It's a touching love story but it has a twist which I'll get into later.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock is phenomenal. It's not surprising that he delivers an amazing performance but he really is that good. I love the scene where he sees his mother's ghost and he's talking to her about how much he misses her. What a performance.

Vicky Krieps as Alma is a standout performance. She goes head on against Day-Lewis and stands on her own. She's fierce yet human. I love her character and the lengths she goes to get in control of the toxic relationship. Krieps should've been nominated for her performance.

My favorite performance in this film is Lesley Manville as Cyril Woodcock, the sister of Reynolds. She commands every scene she is in. Every line of dialogue is perfectly executed. I love when Reynolds is complaining to her and she basically tells him to shut up because it's making her ears bleed. That's hilarious. Manville was nominated for her performance but she should've won.

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote and directed this masterpiece. He's my favorite filmmaker and this film is my 3rd favorite from him. I think his direction is solid as hell. He also handled the cinematography and I think this is one of his best looking films. He deserved his Oscar nominations but he should've won for directing.

The twist at the end is a unique one. What happens is Alma was secretly poisoning Reynolds so she can take care of him and gain control of their relationship. Reynolds is very controlling and likes things done his way. Alma is a foil to that. In the end, Reynolds gives his blessing to be poisoned by Alma. It’s a bold choice and I think the film perfectly executes it.

My favorite scene in the film is near the end. Alma went out dancing without Reynolds since he didn’t want to go. Reynolds soon leaves for the party to find her. As he’s looking through the crowds of party goers, Greenwood’s score plays perfectly in the background. Reynolds finds her and their faces say it all. It’s brilliant. We think he took her home but it’s revealed that they dance together. Cinema.

Overall, Phantom Thread is one of the best films ever made. It’s another masterpiece from the mastermind himself, Paul Thomas Anderson. It will always be one of my favorite films of all time.

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