Paul Thomas Anderson movies, ranked

SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Director Paul Thomas Anderson speaks onstage at the Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Director Paul Thomas Anderson speaks onstage at the Outstanding Directors Award Sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 6, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF) /
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Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread is elegant, thoughtful, tense, and objectively hilarious. PTA re-teams with Daniel Day-Lewis to create the character of Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer who creates dresses for high-society types. Phantom Thread includes my favorite opening scene of any PTA movie and really sets the tone for what the mood of the film will be.

Reynolds Woodcock is a controlling person, which becomes evident as the film shows the day-to-day operations of his business. The film’s inciting incident occurs when Reynolds meets Alma (Vicky Krieps), a foreign waitress who tends to his table. Reynolds takes notice of Alma’s body shape and finds it perfect to model some dresses. In an apparent attempt to impress her, Reynolds orders the most absurd breakfast order known to man, fit for at least 5 people. This point is where some of the humor really hits, when we really some of the absurd lengths we’ll go to impress the people we have an attraction for.

Reynolds invites Alma to his home and she accepts. Throughout the film, Alma stays with Reynolds, though the relationship eventually becomes toxic as Reynolds’ controlling nature starts to grate on Alma’s nerves. As Reynolds continues to work tirelessly, he falls gravely ill. Alma realizing her feelings for Reynolds, nurses him back to health. The end of the film becomes twisted as Alma intentionally poisons Reynolds with poison mushrooms in an omelette, so that he can be vulnerable and depend on her for his health.

In a way, the two are perfect for each other, but it becomes difficult for the audience to root for the characters, and I think therein lies the greatness of Phantom Thread.

Phantom Thread is available for rent.

My score: 9.3/10