Sew Your Own Way: Phantom Thread

This may be one of the toughest movies I’ve ever reviewed as far as spoilers. I’d love to be able to spill the beans, but will refrain.

Suffice to say, that Phantom Thread certainly bodes well with the Time’s Up Movement. Funny thing is, while I totally support women who have had the courage to come out against true assault, I don’t think our society needs to castrate the entire male population. In fact, BEFORE the film, I was lamenting to myself, how I feel like I am on the worst relationship musical chairs experiment. Meaning, because I opted to grow as an individual (marriage 1) and not be in an abusive relationship (marriage 2), I am now left without a ‘chair’, meaning a range of choices as far as mature, ambitious, passionate about their own self-growth, men. Meanwhile, some men feel tethered to marriages being the good soldiers that they’ve outgrown, but are too wimpy (or downright afraid) to leave. I would dare say there are many men in abusive relationships who don’t dare speak up either, feeling powerless or emasculated. This is the state of affairs of 2018, I guess.

In Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis, as usual, is simply mesmerizing. His intense stare and ever intense characters (this time expertly written by PT Anderson) are always riveting to watch. While Tom Hanks can do anything, DD Lewis IS EVERYTHING and this is not hyperbole. He truly is the greatest actor of our generation.

His mate in this film is a relatively unknown actress, Vicky Krieps, but who is certainly on her way to the big time. Her understated beginning crescendos into intensity equal to, or perhaps greater (but not necessarily better -see the 2018 paragraph). Lesley Manville, a British actress of whom I’m also not that familiar with was equally fascinating.

I enjoyed the film, but feel the ending was anticlimactic. I thought the film would have convinced me that staying in a relationship that confines is worth the companionship and durability, yet by film’s end, I simply felt bad about how one spouse has to be the winner, the other loser. Maybe it’s best to, to manipulate a Fleetwood Mac lyric, “sew your own way”.

‘All the better to see you with’; Lily T’s Grandma has teeth, the wisdom type

Can I say that much like Fleetwood Mac, I was semi annoyed by and ignorant of the talent of Lily Tomlin throughout the 70’s and 80’s, UNTIL, I saw her incredibly nuanced portrait in Paul Weitz’s “Grandma”.

Next, let me rail on the ageism that is America. I asked two friends to go to this film and both reacted as if I had ask them to drink a bottle of Geritol. Hopefully you dear reader have taken care of yourself and are comfortable with your age. At 51, I’m hoping the half-time show just ended, with plenty of action yet to go.

At any rate, I widened my movie friend radius and my companion enjoyed the film as much as I did, in spite of his gender (male) and the movie’s story being 90% female.

I don’t want to say too much about this film, it’s that good, to just go and enjoy. Just some basics, Lily plays an unconventional Grandma and her f-bombed (though appropriately played and not gratuitous f-bombs) odyssey with her grand daughter felt real.

Please give Sam Elliott a Best Supporting Actor nomination right now, for one of the most emotionally complicated scenes I’ve ever seen in film.

Forget worrying about how square you are to see a movie named Grandma and just get there.