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Phantom Thread

(2017, Anderson)

"Je m’appelle Alma
I live here"

That's the territorial claim from Alma (Vicky Krieps) to a client of his paramour, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). We don't get a lot of background on what drives Alma, but this little exchange lets us know how much she craves this standing and this position, which is what drives this toxic relationship with Woodcock forward in Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece.

Phantom Thread follows the relationship between Woodcock and Alma since their "puppy love" meeting at a restaurant to their established, toxic relationship of love and hate. Woodcock, a meticulous and obsessive bachelor with deep-seated "mommy issues" is prone to pick up and discard lovers with ease, but Alma seems determined to stake her claim on his life.

I saw this film back in 2018 and I loved it. Rewatched it recently for a podcast guest appearance and I loved it even more. The way Anderson carefully weaves this relationship, with each of their little quirks, is brilliant, but he's obviously helped by masterful performances from Day-Lewis and Krieps. The cast is rounded out by Lesley Manville, as Woodcock's controlling sister, Cyril.

Aside from the performances, Anderson borrows Woodcock's meticulousness to his direction, with some excellent camera placement and cinematography. Finally, Jonny Greenwood's score is just a gorgeous bonnet to top this costume. If Anderson keeps cooking these delicious omelets, I'm gonna keep gobbling them up.