Phantom Thread

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Phantom Thread

Post by pinback » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:36 am

It's no secret that in the world of arts and entertainment, there is nothing in the world that I like more than Paul Thomas Anderson movies. It is then a testament to how much my life and priorities have changed in the last few years, and how little importance arts and/or entertainment hold for me at this point, that it took me almost a year and a half to finally watch PTA's latest, Phantom Thread.

This is a movie about a guy who marries a chick and then starts to get really irritated by the noises she makes when she eats. Okay not really, but there is a wedding, and immediately afterward, we cut to them eating breakfast, and she's slurping away and fumbling with the forks and knives and he's got this look on his face like, what the hell did I do? That hit a little close to home, and I laughed out loud.

Like PTA's first Daniel Day-Lewis collaboration, 2007's There Will Be Blood, this is a tale of a neurotic dude who meets his foil who is ready and willing to push his neuroses to the limit, except this time it's a woman who loves him instead of a preacher who hates him. Jonny Greenwood's extremely unsettling score and an overtly Kubrickian style make the similarities even more striking. TWBB 2, this is not, but the lineage is clear.

The three main players are Reynolds Woodcock (heh), London fashion designer and general nutcase, his protective, helicopter-parent-like sister, and this waitress he gets boned up for. Psychosexual power struggle commences, people cook mushrooms, and hilarity ensues. The parallels to PTA's earlier Punch-Drunk Love, another movie about a goofball, his overprotective sister(s), and a chick who rocks his world, are also clear.

There's no way to make the story sound interesting, but the way the story is told, and the quality of the lead performances are so stellar that it could have been a documentary about how toilet paper is made and it would have been riveting. Probably PTA's second "smallest" film (after the relatively bite-sized Punch-Drunk Love), it is no less compelling than anything else in his oeueoueeuouevre.

I instantly wanted to watch it again, I instantly regretting waiting so long, I instantly remembered why PTA movies are my favorite, and I instantly put Phantom Thread in his top five, which I will list for you now, even though you don't care:

1. Magnolia.
2. There Will Be Blood.
3. Punch-Drunk Love.
4. Boogie Nights.
5. Phantom Thread.

Any arguments with that list are wrong.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Re: Phantom Thread

Post by ChainGangGuy » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:21 am

I've yet to see Inherent Vice. Did PTA fail to deliver the goods on that one?

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Re: Phantom Thread

Post by pinback » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:24 pm

I've only seen it once. I should probably revisit. It made less of an impact than his others, though, I think that's fair to say.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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