The Phantom Thread

I cannot remember an Oscar-nominated film, with a production team and cast of this quality, being this terrible.  Even the over-praised La La Land had its moments of joy.  But this film is truly awful. In fact, a better title for the film might be “50 Shades of Fungi.”

A 60-ish clothing designer, financially successful but emotionally stunted, takes up with a 20-something waitress of uncertain provenance.  He brings her to his sumptuous London home, where his twisted sister already lives, and sets up a creepy ménage.  Rather than just leave this horror show, as any normal person would, the erstwhile waitress decides to engage in a bit of power politics.  With mushrooms.  And then things get really weird.

Sorry for the spoilers, but no one should go see this movie, as I did, thinking that it was about  about the fashion industry.  In fact, the fashion shots we do see all involve a woman being humiliated, one way or the other — by being undressed, having her measurements taken and shouted out publicly, or being stuffed into an outfit that is clearly too small.  Hubert Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn this is not. And the clothes, while clearly expensive, were to my mind really ugly.

If you like Gothic thrillers, you might enjoy this film.  For the rest of us, it’s a major disappointment.

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