Written by / 2/03/2018 / No comments / , , , , , ,

PT ANDERSON DRESSES-DOWN HIS 'PHANTOM THREAD'

Year of Wide Release: 2018
In PHANTOM THREAD, set in the 1950's post war London, Daniel Day Lewis's lanky Reynolds Woodcock and Anthony Perkins' legendary psycho Norman Bates have a lot in common — yet the more relaxed, friendly, polite, patient and open-minded of the two owns a motel...

In his usual fashion (pun intended),  big budget arthouse director Paul Thomas Anderson has created yet another labor-of-love orchestrated to progressively build as the story moves forward. Only there's no real story here; PHANTOM is more a character-study. Two, actually. One about a semi-famous dressmaker, whose company bears his porn-star last name, and the other is an initially clumsy, tall and plain-till-she's-gorgeous waitress who soon becomes his clothes-fitting human mannequin and, eventually... well... the eventually here takes a very long time, saturated with awkward silences invaded by random hissing snips of perturbed rancor. Any anticipated suspense of how the two will disconnect with each other, at any given time, amounts to practically nothing. And not so fitting within the classy, sophisticated time period, the F-bomb goes practically nuclear — mostly spoken or shouted by our temperamental yet melancholy leading man — and stands out like a paper sack in a rose garden (although these are the few moments when the dependably over-the-top Lewis goes over-the-top).

Score: **
Most likely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS for one reason, and that has to do with what eventually makes this THREAD a giant disappointment since it could have been the Gothic and eerie "masterpiece" it seems to be trying for...

While the settings are lavish and the costumes, of course, are fanciful and most-likely Oscar worthy, the chemistry between the polar opposite couple... him a drowsy jerk and her a stubborn mind-gamer... is as dull as watching paint dry — on your eyelids.

Norman Bates staring at Janet Leigh through the famous peephole provided more overall chemistry, albeit one-sided, than this slow-paced, masturbatory sludge of pretentious existentialism. Let it be said that Mr. Woodcock, too, glances through his own hole at one point, in which he has something to look at, as does the audience — only there's absolutely nothing to actually experience along the way.
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