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Phantom Thread (2017) Movie Review

Another phenomenal performance from one of the best actors of this generation, Daniel Day-Lewis. Phantom Thread excels with astounding acting performances, a beautiful score, mesmerizing camera shots, a thrilling storyline, and jaw-dropping twists.

Phantom Thread is regarded by many as one of the best of the decade.

Plot Overview

The movie follows the story of a London fashion designer named Reynolds Woodcock. He creates dresses for the high society, including royalty. He is regarded by many as a genius because his creations allow them to look their best. However, his outstanding remarks are marked by his obsessive and controlling personality. He doesn't want to be distracted at work, so his sister, Cyril, prevents outside disturbances. Reynolds is superstitious and haunted by the death of his mother and often leaves some marks on the things he creates.

After working on a dress for Lady Harding, Reynolds eats at a local restaurant near his county home and meets a foreign waitress named Alma Elson. He invites her for dinner and accepts. They became close, and soon, a relationship bloomed. Alma moves in with him and becomes his primary model and lover. Cyril initially distrusts her but soon earns her respect for her determination.

Initially, Alma was happy with her relationship with Reynolds. However, when she finds out that he has frequent mood swings, hard to please, and aloof, she begins to lose sight of him. One night, Alma tries to set up a romantic dinner, but Reynolds angrily lashes out and mentions that he does not tolerate those who disturb the routines he perfected. Disappointed and angry, Alma poisons Reynolds' tea with some wild mushrooms. As he is almost done preparing the dress for the Belgian princess, he collapses and damages it. He becomes ill, and Alma nurses him back to feel he needs her.

Reynolds and Alma marry, but their continuous bickering doesn't stop. His destructive behavior becomes apparent, but Alma plans to use the poisonous mushroom again because he wants him weak and needy.


Phantom Thread brought in the talents of Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and many more. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, worked with Daniel Day-Lewis on his iconic movie, There Will Be Blood.

You can't talk about this movie without mentioning the main characters' emotional and powerful acting performances. Even their roles have so much dynamic that you don't get to root for one because they are so destructive to each other. Their back-and-forth relationship was perfectly displayed in this psychological film.

The majestic camera angles the film uses, from a subtle perspective to loud horror, are all filled with emotions. The way this movie is shot perfectly encompasses the characters and their ticking timebomb emotions.

Overall, Phantom Thread may be hard to watch for those who like to invest in the main characters. There is no hero or heroine in this film. It's just two clashing villains of their own world.

A great 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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