PTA and Daniel Day Lewis save Christmas!

Blog post by Ross Munro for Wholly Cinema.

This Christmas, despite the usual mad rush to beat your fellow humankind senseless to grab that last discounted electrical gadget from the shelves, promises to be an extra special one for cinephiles (we are a severely neglected group…). A notable sampling of movies soon to be dropping down a chimney near you include James Franco and Seth Rogen’s “The Disaster Artist” and Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour”- definitely not your typical lumps of coal by any means.

But the most eagerly awaited title just might be the one that’s been, up until now, shrouded in more secrecy than Jared Kushner’s tax returns- I’m talking about American auteur PT Anderson’s latest entitled “Phantom Thread” which is scheduled to take its place under your Yuletide tree next to your giant chocolate orange on Xmas Day.

PTA’s latest film since his sun-drenched SoCal gumshoe noir “Inherent Vice” in 2014, finds him collaborating once again with 3-time Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis (in what’s rumoured to be his swan song performance- no truth to the chatter that he may later emerge as a touring member of The Eagles…) in a story vividly set in the world of high fashion during the swinging 50’s era London. Can’t wait to see all those haute couture umbrellas…!

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Apparently, Sir Daniel plays renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (no- this is not a character from “Boogie Nights”) who specializes in designing for royalty, celebrities and socialites who finds inspiration from the women who come in and out of his carefully tailored (yes- the press release actually said this) life.

Also filling out (I came up with this one- sorry) the cast are Mike Leigh veteran Lesley Manville (“All Or Nothing”, “Another Year”) and, straight outta Luxembourg (the original and quickly discarded title of “Straight Outta Compton”) actress Vicky Krieps who supplies the above-the-hem love interest to workaholic/perfectionist Woodcock.

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Also it should be noted that writer/director PTA took the unprecedented step of serving as his own cinematographer- lugging those enormous cables up and down the stairs must’ve been a bitch…not to mention choosing between all those pesky lighting scrims. No word on whether or not PTA was involved in the laying out of the craft services table.

The last few days has found the elusive filmmaker unspooling “Phantom Thread” at recent Los Angeles review-embargoed sneeks complete with Q&A’s for all the attending Oscar members and fans alike- could this be the year the Academy finally awards its native Hollywood born and bred son responsible for such classics as “There Will Be Blood”, “Magnolia” and “The Master” (to name a few) with some well-deserved gold? Heck, he can even have Daniel Day Lewis- with his well-known penchant for going deep into a role- design a Woodcock original tux for the red carpet (hopefully the idea to do something in a white swan motif will be quickly discarded…).

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So this Christmas morning, run- don’t walk- to your local cinema (careful not to stub your mistle-toe), grab an overpriced eggnog latte and settle back into your seats and celebrate the Yuletide with the year’s most eagerly awaited movie that doesn’t feature wookies, “Phantom Thread”.

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Viva La Cinema!