Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread ★★★★★

Replaced in: Paul Thomas Anderson Ranked & 2017 Ranked
Added to: Leo's Top 200+ Favorites Ranked

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

One of the greatest studies on artists and their love for the craft. Phantom Thread is the cinematic embodiment of all of Paul Thomas Anderson’s fears and desires. In my previous review I already stated that the film showed his immense longing to keep control of the worlds he created and with this first rewatch that only rings true more and more. He may have succeeded in bringing together the cinematic elements to show this flaw that haunts him and makes him as much of a broken character as the ones he puts on screen himself, but in the story he’s telling he slowly but surely lets go of this. Anderson, as much as any other human, artist or not, is aware of those elements in the universe that are both unbreakable and able to break anyone who comes into contact with them. One of those elements is love, a power so strong it can even tip the strongest people off of their pedestal. Anderson, to an extent, is Reynolds Woodcock. Fortunately for him, he’s also Alma and Cyril. He has found the wisdom to combine and balance the love for his work and the love for his wife and he now implements that wisdom in his story of a dressmaker who falls in love or at the least, learn to know what love is. Both in the text and the subtext of this wonderful tale one can find relationship advice that will last for ages to come. While Phantom Thread may appear to many as a film with a very sterile kind of beauty it actually carries an enormous heart. It may be hidden away as if it was a secret in the linings of the garments Woodcock made, yet here we do find out that secret, that almost ungraspable truth that is true love; love with all its pains and pleasures, never perfect and therefore more perfect than one could ever imagine.

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