Film Reviews by JH

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Phantom Thread

Worth Watching

(Edit) 01/04/2019

Set in the late 1950s/early 60s, this is a fascinating study of a man (Reynolds) played by the mesmerising Daniel Day Lewis, who has reached the heights of his field in dress design and high end fashion. He is a bachelor and lives in a smart house in London with his unmarried sister (Cyril) played with immense self-control by Leslie Manville. Though Reynolds is interested in the opposite sex he has never given himself sufficient time, or attention to develop a long lasting relationship. In fact he is so rapt up in himself, and the memories of his mother who taught him his craft, that he finds the ordinary, everyday characteristics and peccadilloes of the women around him, to be excruciatingly irritating. When he meets a young, attractive waitress with the figure of a model he falls for her immediately. Her persona is unassuming and naive. He takes her to his family's country house and begins designing clothes for her. They become lovers and partners but after a while Reynolds begins to find fault with her and that her presence is hampering his ability to work. He tries to enlist his sister to help him end relationship with Alma. However Alma is not going to be cowered by them and it is apparent she has a determined side which is a match for Reynolds (and his sister's) controlling ways. She is in love with Reynolds and determined to get him to commit himself and to need her. It becomes apparent that she is developing a Munchhausen's trait and uses this to exercise complete power over her man. This is a long, slow film but well worth watching. In fact I did so twice before returning the DVD.

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