Phantom Thread ★★★★

Phantom Thread is quite simple and straightforward compared to the director's previous films, but is still able to retain a sense of mystery and a dash of spirituality. The plot is akin to the classic romance novels typical of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, and I mean that in the best way possible. While this aspect may cause some folks to call the film boring, those who can appreciate a slow-burn love story with a tear-inducing twist so subtle it could easily go over your head initially will likely find something special in Phantom Thread. The minimalistic virtue of the story is solidified by genre-defining performances from all three of the leads. Honestly, I don't know if I have ever seen a movie in which the actors and actresses were able to elicit crowd reactions as enthusiastic as the ones Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville received from the audience last night at my local cinema, many times with little more than a few words and some extremely emotive facial expressions. With some of his strongest characters and some of the most conventionally beautiful cinematography of any of his films, Paul Thomas Anderson makes Phantom Thread's ~130 minute runtime feel more than justified. Definitely give this one a shot if it's playing near you. :)

P.S. I felt wrong for not mentioning Jonny Greenwood's mesmerizing score for the film in my original review, so I'm editing it in now. While it may go slightly overlooked due to his consistently impressive scores for half of Anderson's filmography, Greenwood's ability to match the tone of a scene with a specific sound or melody cannot go understated. Obviously the director thought so, as I believe the score is featured in more than half of the scenes. Even with all that screen time, the droning repetition of the string and piano arrangements never becomes suffocating or annoying. It actually accents the film perfectly.

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