Johnny Barrett’s review published on Letterboxd:
An incredibly well-directed movie that almost gets over my distaste for romantic movies, since this kind of isn't one in a way. Much like There Will Be Blood, the stylistic choices/length/tonal qualities just didn't quite gel with me. I generally love PTA, but occasionally his style for certain movies doesn't fit what I prefer. I won't ever deny his craftsmanship, and this movie is no exception. The costume design is, duhhhhhhh, pretty much perfect (what a shock), as is the cinematography and setting. For me however, the standout is by far the soundtrack. The jazzy/classical piano that so softly layers underneath everything really works too accent the mood of everything so subtlely.
The cast also elevates and holds this movie together. Alma is the "stronk independent wuman" idea done exceptionally well; she has a quiet dignity and will that isn't pushed in the audience's face, so I really appreciate the way she was written and performed. It of course makes it interesting when she becomes a crazy person in a toxic relationship near the end, as I personally can't justify her actions but the movie makes you understand how this strange relationship seems to find balance. I also loved DDL's wonderfully cunty performance; quiet and subdued but at the same time acidic and petulant. The way he chameleons into the role is one of the main reasons to see this.
All my issues with the movie come down to my own personal tastes, really. The first third of the movie feels incredibly dull, as I can't muster the energy to care about fashion or the disaffected wealthy. Once the main relationship picks up the movie gets much more interesting, but it was difficult as I overall found most of the characters distasteful on a personal level. Despite all my misgivings, plenty of people will be drawn into this narrative more than me and I will still defend the quality of filmmaking on display here. Just not quite my preference.