‘Phantom Thread’ Blu-Ray Review: An Eccentric Romance With A Wild Twist
Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread graced theaters last December, garnering critical acclaim from critics. Available now on Blu-ray, Phantom Thread’s unique romance story can now be enjoyed at home, but is it a story you’ll fall in love with?
PHANTOM THREAD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Phantom Thread’s core is the relationship between its two protagonists and the dynamic that exists between them. Reynolds Woodcock, portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, is a gifted and renowned dress designer, albeit a very quirky one. The man never got over his mother’s death, admitting he keeps a lock of her hair with him at all times in one of his suits, but his more immediate social flaw is his rigid, unflinching approach to socializing. Day-Lewis conveys his character’s emotional states brilliantly, from Reynolds’ vulnerabilities to his inability to stray from his norm.
Alma Elson (Vicky Krieps) worked as a waitress at a restaurant where Reynolds happens to have lunch at one day following a business transaction. She agrees to go on a date with him, a decision that blossoms into a relationship between them. She moves into his home and joins his team, a paradigm shift Reynold’s sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville), is initially displeased about, but the two women grow fond of each other. Krieps and Manville, moreover, don’t slack off in bringing their roles to life, and they both play off the ill-mannered Reynolds well.
However, although Reynolds allowed Alma into his life, he never quite shared it with her; he often spoke ill of her presence, bemoaning her as intrusive and distracting while she tries to bring him tea or when she tries to eat her breakfast. When he became too overbearing, Alma then reigned him in by making him sick, forcing him to become dependent on her. Seeing Reynolds change over the span of the movie, growing from his eccentric yet crass start to his less unaccepting demeanor after he recovers, was fascinating, as was the fluctuating power dynamic between the two strong-willed individuals. The latter’s conclusion was certainly unpredictable yet satisfying.
The movie’s 1950s backdrop is realized with aplomb thanks to the visuals, costume design and Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack, and the Blu-ray’s special features include an 11.57-minute “Behind the Scenes Photographs” collage and camera tests (the latter of which can be enjoyed with or without Anderson’s commentary) grant a glimpse of the development of them. Also included on the disc is a video of a two-minute fashion show, deleted scenes and a requisite commentary track for the movie.