The first reviews for Phantom Thread have been released, and it looks like acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson could be heading for Oscars glory once more.
The drama is Anderson’s second collaboration with Daniel Day Lewis, and sees the celebrated actor starring as 1950s London dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, his final big screen appearance after the announcement of his self-imposed retirement earlier this year.
Thankfully, it looks like Day-Lewis will going out on a high after his performance was singled out for praise – along with the story of Woodcock’s turbulent relationship with his lover, played by Vicky Krieps.
In a five-star review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote: “Day-Lewis gives a performance of an almost ridiculously charismatic outrageousness, the sort only he could get away with….It’s a study in cult leadership to compare with Anderson’s The Master and a portrait of entrepreneurial loneliness to put alongside his appearance in Anderson’s There Will Be Blood.”
“It’s a wonderful high note for Day-Lewis to end on: I feel a mixture of euphoria and desperate sadness”, he later concluded.
Similar praise for Day-Lewis came from The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, who likened his appearance to a “Shakespearean soliloquy”.
“There is an early scene in which Reynolds orders breakfast in a seaside hotel, and it feels as freighted with significance as a Shakespearean soliloquy”, he reasoned.
“Plenty of actors have given us Hamlets and Lears for the ages, but only Day-Lewis can make you gasp at the words “and sausages”.
But not everyone was equally impressed – with EntertainmentWeekly claiming to have been left a “little underwhelmed” by the film.
“Phantom Thread is meticulously crafted, visually sumptuous, impeccably acted, and very, very directorly”, a review from Chris Nashawaty claimed.
“But until the final act, this straight-jacketed character study is also pretty tame stuff — emotionally remote, a bit too studied, and far easier to admire than surrender to and swoon over. It seems to exist under glass.”
Phantom Thread is released on February 2, 2018.