#RoadtoOscars: Phantom Thread Review

Phantom Thread is the epitome of white people problems.

So, you know how Christian and Ana are a toxic relationship romanticized by white suburban moms everywhere? Even though they’re both out of their minds, and he’s super sexist and controlling? This is that, but subtle enough for the Academy Awards.

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Let’s just start off with how Daniel Day-Lewis apparently wanted to channel his inner Jeremy Irons in Lolita and thought that’s what would get him an Oscar nomination for sure. He plays a meticulous, egotistical fashion designer in 1950’s London, and let me tell you, he’s not very good. The dresses are mediocre, unflattering, and he’s the type of artist that doesn’t accept constructive criticism or even a difference of opinion. But, this review isn’t about subpar fashion in a subpar film.

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What’s the movie actually about? Well, I saw it and actually had to google it to see if I simply missed something totally metaphorical and beautifully deep. I didn’t. The grandeur of the film revolves around this sad, twisted romance between a sexist old man and a manipulative young woman. He meets her working as a waitress down in the countryside of England and decides she’s the perfect specimen to be his next muse/lady toy. She, of course, goes along with it because who wouldn’t want to live as a fashion slave in a posh house where all you do is annoy the designer with your existence and get made beautiful dresses? This movie is utterly contradictory and quite honestly more frustrating than it’s worth.

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Phantom Thread has SIX Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Original Music, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Costume Design. Was the acting good? Sure. Daniel Day-Lewis gives a convincing performance. The direction is bland, the costume design wasn’t particularly eye-catching, and the music was a grown-up loop of the music in the introduction scene of Pixar’s Up. In conclusion, this movie is utterly forgettable and underwhelming. I’ve officially been spoiled by diverse characters with compelling storylines in other films. The Academy really needs to step up its game and branch out.