What you need to know about Phantom Thread

Words: Haonan Yuan | Subbing: Bernadette Galbraith

Watch the second and also the last collaboration between Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis: A perfect guide before this much anticipated film on cinema.

The first feature film the filmmaker has shot himself
Phantom Thread is Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth feature-length film. Some of his previous work are known as the best films of the 21st century, including Punch-Drunk Love, The Master and There Will Be Blood. For this new film, Anderson doesn’t only write and direct it, but also serves as the director of photography for the very first time.

Paul Thomas Anderson by Jürgen Fauth

This also reunites him with his There Will Be Blood actor Daniel Day-Lewis. On working with Day-Lewis, Anderson said: “It’s a privilege to work with Daniel Day-Lewis and few directors have had that privilege. I had to work up the courage to ask him, but I always knew there was only one man for the job.”

Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis by Jürgen Fauth

Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film

As the only man who has won three Best Actor awards, Day-Lewis left awesome work in film history, including My Left Foot, The Blood Will Come and Lincoln.

The Londoner is well-known as “a genius chameleon” for his dedication to every character. The 60-year-old once played as president, disabled, gang leader and many more throughout his extraordinary career. Time awarded him the world’s greatest actor in 2012.

This June, the Oscar winner just threw a huge bomb in the film industry by announcing his retirement for good.

Day-Lewis in Lincoln

Restore London from 60 years ago

The story takes place in London, which just has its former lively appearance back gradually after war. The old look of London city in the middle of last century, the elegant upper class and exquisite dressing style… this film reproduces all these beautiful scenes.

Entanglement between free creation and love

The film describes a couturier serving for upper class. He insists personal aesthetics in fashion circus, however, life is changed by his lover. What could happen after the collision between sensibility and rationality? The storyline itself is attractive enough.

Though it hasn’t been confirmed, Day-Lewis’s character is probably based on the real life of fashion designer Charles James, who is known as “America’s first couturier”.

Charles James Napier by William Edward Kilburn

Exceptional Music

Last but not least, its original film score is also exceptional. Jonny Greenwood, British musician and lead guitarist and keyboardist of alternative rock band Radiohead, scores this film. This is the fourth collaboration between Greenwood and Anderson. Their previous work, including There Will Be Blood and The Master, have made Greenwood one of the most well-respected film composers in the business.

Jonny Greenwood by Zach Klein

Phantom Thread is released on 2nd February in the UK. But before that, it will be in cinemas on 25th December in the US. The filmmaker’s ambition for the upcoming Oscars can be seen. Will this become a chance for Daniel Day-Lewis to get his fourth Best Actor award? Film fans are looking forward to it.



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