“Phantom Thread” true art house cinema

There’s no mistaking a Hollywood Popcorn Flick.  Between the big laughs and over-the-top action sequences, audiences don’t have to think too hard: it’s escapism.  Art house cinema is the opposite in every way and generally appeals to a very niche market.  Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s films generally skate a thin line between the two realms, though his latest, “Phantom Thread”, settles solidly into the latter category.

“Phantom Thread” tells the story of Reynolds (Daniel Day-Lewis), a respected dressmaker, and his model-turned-muse Alma (Vicky Krieps).  There’s very little dialogue and the actors are challenged to emote wordlessly, trusting that the camera will capture their inner thoughts.  It’s a credit to the formidable Lewis and Krieps, as well as their director, that the movie works at all.

Long silences are punctuated only by dialed up sound effects.  In fact, the sound effects, or foley, are added at such a pointedly-loud volume that they nearly become another cast member entirely.  Sounds like scratching pencils on paper and shoes on stairs lend a unique emphasis to the action.

For more about “Phantom Thread”, including the meaning behind the title, take a look below:

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