Phantom Thread Blu-ray Review
Sometimes expectations can be high. Take the moment I opened the mail and saw that the boss had sent me the new film PHANTOM THREAD. A collaboration between one of my favorite actors of all time and one of the most visionary directors of the past 30 years. 3 hours after I opened the box I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed.
Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis, in what is rumored to be his last on-screen acting appearance) is a renowned dress maker. His work is worn by only the best all over Europe. An garment originating from the House of Woodcock is something to treasure. Part of Reynold’s brilliance is that he runs his life according to a strict schedule. Or at least under the schedule his sister, Cyril (Manville) helps him set. He is not so set in his ways that he doesn’t occasionally fall in love, but he knows that he will never marry, as that would surely upset the world he has created for himself.
When we meet Reynolds he is in the process, with his sister’s help, of getting rid of his last paramour. Either through simply ignoring her or being intentionally cold and cruel, she finally gets the point. Relieved of her absence, Reynolds heads to his country house. While there he visits a local restaurant and orders quite a hefty breakfast. He is smitten by the waitress (Krieps) who, upon delivering his food, slips him a note reading, “For the Hungry Boy. My name is Alma.” Things progress from there, with Alma becoming his latest muse, slowly growing close to Reynolds but never close enough.
If this should be Daniel Day-Lewis’ final screen role, he is going out on a decidedly high note. As the owner of three Academy Awards (he should have four with his performance in GANGS OF NEW YORK), he is truly one of the greatest actors of not only my, but any, generation. Here he totally inhabits the skin and character of Reynolds Woodcock, with never a false note detected. The supporting cast, especially misses Manville and Krieps are also first rate. Day-Lewis and Manville were both nominated for Academy Awards, two of the six nominations it received, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Speaking of the director, once again Paul Thomas Anderson has created a new place in the world and a new style of film. His visuals are lush and beautiful, the score by Jonny Greenwood is the perfect accompaniment and the costumes – costume designer Mark Bridges took him a richly deserved Oscar – brilliantly created. Day-Lewis and Anderson teamed up on the film THERE WILL BE BLOOD, with Day-Lewis earning his second Academy Award. It was easy to see then that the two had an unspoken language between each other that brought out the best in both. That chemistry is once again evident in PHANTOM THREAD
Hopefully Day-Lewis will change his mind, or come across a project he cannot pass on. If so, we will all see him again. If not, he has left us a body of work that will be studied and revered for many generations to come.
Video: The film is presented in its original 1:85.1 aspect ratio and is beautifully transferred. Whether admiring the garment or the hour or taking in the beautiful scenery in the Alps, the visuals are stunning.
Audio: The English soundtrack is presented in both DTS: X and DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 and is flawless. Day-Lewis often speaks softly yet you never miss a word. And the beautiful score by Jonny Greenwood never overwhelms.
Camera Tests (8:42): A look at the various ways (film stock, etc) that the film was constructed to make it authentic. Comes with an optional commentary by director Paul Thomas Anderson.
For the Hungry Boy (Deleted Scenes) (4:52): A collection of short scenes, all accompanied by Jonny Greenwood’s beautiful music.
House of Woodcock Fashion Show (2:47): Taken from the film, this is a clip from the fashion ship, narrated by British actor/comedian Adam Buxton.
Behind the Scenes Photographs (11:55): A beautiful collection of photographs by the films lighting cameraman, Michael Bauman, set to cuts from Jonny Greenwoods’ score.