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Phantom Thread

Rated 14 Accompaniment (Coarse Language, Mature Theme) ~ Runs 130 minutes

Dir.: Paul Thomas Anderson, US

Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville

6 Academy Award Nominations including Best Picture & Best Actor

“Love is an obsessive, high-stakes game in Phantom Thread, an exquisitely crafted, mesmerising weave of melodrama and Gothic horror. It is set in the 1950s and looks as if it was made in that decade with its lush colours and heightened emotions. Anderson scoops up a swirl of influences from Powell and Pressburger to Hitchcock and transforms them into a fairy tale of a film in which you are never sure what might happen next. Daniel Day-Lewis has announced his retirement and if Phantom Thread is his final film, then it is an impressive, Oscar-nominated farewell as he burrows beneath the perfectly clad skin of acclaimed high society fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock. This is a fastidious fellow who provides gorgeous gowns for European royalty and high society London... Reynolds is a perfectionist who demands order and control, being the kind of man who could never pass a crooked painting without stopping to straighten it. This highly strung genius is protected by his sister Cyril who acts as the gatekeeper to his world... She is as steely and implacable as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca but Lesley Manville's impeccable, Oscar-nominated performance makes her a much more human, sympathetic figure. Everything changes when Reynolds meets waitress Alma. He is completely smitten and there is a sense that she could be the Eliza to his Henry Higgins as she grows into the role of his muse. However, Reynolds is impossibly demanding and uncompromising. The noise of butter being scraped on toast can break his concentration and ruin the entire day. If Alma plans to stick around, then she will have to follow his rules. Then again Alma is not as docile as she first appears and enormous credit goes to the relatively unknown Vicky Krieps for making Alma such a formidable character, full of hidden depths and wiles... The film becomes increasingly unpredictable and twisted as the fraught central relationship becomes a battleground. Who is really in control here? Phantom Thread is simply sumptuous. The work of the costume department is outstanding with a spiffy wardrobe for Reynolds and glamorous gowns that could have graced Audrey Hepburn. The pin-sharp precision of the dialogue, the magnificent, lilting musical score from Jonny Greenwood and the quality of the performances all combine to create an audacious, spellbinding slice of storytelling.” - Allan Hunter, The Express

When Phantom Thread plays...
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March 24