Archive for the ‘Paul Thomas Anderson’ Category

The Intensity of Design

Phantom Thread

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Brian Gleeson, Gina McKee

Inherent Vice and The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson reunites with his Oscar winning star of There Will Be Blood which Anderson also directed, the hugely talented Daniel Day-Lewis in his new handsomely crafted film Phantom Thread.

Moving away from America, Paul Thomas Anderson sets Phantom Thread in 1950’s post-war England in the glamourous yet stifling world of British fashion as Daniel Day-Lewis plays the fastidious fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock in a fine Oscar-nominated performance.

Like The Master, Phantom Thread incisively explores the intricacy of human relationships as the film centres on the tumultuous relationship between Woodcock, who hates to be disturbed at breakfast and his young muse, turned model, Alma, a superb performance by Luxembourgian actress Vicky Krieps who fills the screen with an unrivaled radiance.

This radiance is counterpointed by the incisive performance of British actress Lesley Manville (Maleficent, Mr Turner) as the immaculate sister of Reynolds, oddly named Cyril, whose ambivalent sexuality and headstrong business sense ensues that her talented brother is seldom thrown off course. Lesley Manville is utterly brilliant as Cyril and received an Oscar nomination for her integral supporting performance.

What really makes Phantom Thread worth seeing are the beautiful costumes designed by Mark Bridges who won an Oscar for Costume Design for this film as well as for director Michel Hazanavicius’s Oscar winning film The Artist.

Central to Phantom Thread’s narrative is the intense relationship between the feisty and young Alma and the brilliant yet tortured Reynolds Woodcock who naturally displays all the obsessiveness of his craft including retrieving a gorgeous emerald dress from a drunken society lady after her wedding.

Phantom Thread is a slow moving drama, supported by exceptional performances by Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville and will certainly appeal to audiences that have a love of fashion or have enjoyed Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous films which are at times obscure, thought-provoking and significant. His filmography includes The Master, Boogie Nights and Inherent Vice and the Oscar winning There will be Blood.

Apparently Phantom Thread is to be Daniel Day-Lewis’s last film as he hints at retirement, but hopefully it won’t be his last onscreen performance as he has enjoyed a sumptuous career starting with a minor role in the Merchant Ivory film A Room with a View and appearing as Newland Archer in Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence. The supremely talented Day-Lewis is one of only a handful of actors to win three Best Actor Oscars for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and lastly in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln leaving an incomparable acting legacy behind.

Daniel Day-Lewis leaves behind an illustrious acting career in cinema and it’s for this reason that Phantom Thread is worth seeing. His performance as the creative, yet obsessive fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock is flawless, exemplifying all the intensity and pressure of design.

Phantom Thread gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is a highly recommended period drama.



The Golden Fang

Inherent Vice


Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, There will be Blood, The Master, Boogie Nights)

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Katherine Waterston, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Eric Roberts, Jena Malone, Michael Kenneth Williams, Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Martin Donovan, Maya Rudolph, Serena Scott Thomas

In the spirit of Magnolia and Boogie Nights, director Paul Thomas Anderson assembles an eclectic cast of stars for his cinematic adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice with Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Gladiator) as stoner private detective Larry Doc Sportello who goes on a labyrinthine search for his ex-girlfriend Shasta Hepworth played by Katherine Waterston (Michael Clayton, Taking Woodstock).


Set in 1971, during the Nixon administration, in California, Inherent Vice is a rambling and extended tour de force of the hippie’s drug culture of Southern California involving kinky and corrupt cops especially Lt Detective Christian “BigFoot” Bjornsen wonderfully played by the orally fixated Josh Brolin, straight laced deputy district attorneyPenny Kimball played by Reese Witherspoon and an elusive government informant Coy Harlingen played by Owen Wilson.

Oscar winner for director Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic Benicio del Toro also makes a brief appearance as Doc’s legal adviser Sauncho Smilax Esq, but this is very much Phoenix’s film and he inhabits every frame with a sort of woozy ease that is at times prolonged and other times fascinating. This is by no means Phoenix’s best performance and does not match his brilliant portrayal of the boozy drifter Freddie Quell in Paul Thomas Anderson’s superb critically acclaimed film The Master.

At a running time of just over two and a half hours, one cannot blame the viewer for getting slightly confused and bored. Inherent Vice has an intricate plot with lots of subtexts, subplots and quirky visual references but only serious fans of Paul Thomas Anderson will appreciate his laboured approach in adapting this contemporary novel to the big screen.

The best scenes are actually between Phoenix and Witherspoon who reunite after the success of the Oscar winning James Mangold film Walk the Line. Several of the other quite bizarre sequences are truly amazing to watch but the entire story could have done with some efficient editing.


Audiences should also watch out for cameos by Eric Roberts, Martin Donovan and a crazed Martin Short. While the costumes and production design for Inherent Vice is spot on capturing the origins of the drug fueled and nefarious 1970’s, Paul Thomas Anderson film could have used some serious editing as this languid narrative tends to bewilder and obfuscate the viewer, which the point of the story.

Inherent Vice refers to possible drugs being smuggled into America on a mysterious vessel known as The Golden Fang from Indo-China or modern day Vietnam. This film is recommended viewing for those that enjoyed Magnolia and Robert Altman’s far superior film Short Cuts. Not sure if Inherent Vice will quite make it to the cult status of The Master.

2012 Venice Film Festival

2012 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as La Biennale di Venezia takes place annually
in late August, early September and is known as the oldest Film Festival in the World.

Winners of the 2012 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –


Golden Lion (Best Film): Pieta directed by Kim Ki-duk

the master_ver2

Silver Lion (Best Director): Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master

The Master_ver6

Best Actor: (shared between) Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master


Best Actress: Hadas Yaron – Fill the Void


2008 Berlin Film Festival

2008 Berlin International Film Festival Winners

BIFF 2008

The Berlin International Film Festival known as the Berlinale takes places annually in February and is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Winners of the four main prizes at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival were as follows: –

Elite Squad

Golden Bear (Best Film) – Elite Squad directed by Jose Padilha


Silver Bear (Best Director) – Paul Thomas Anderson – There Will Be Blood


Best Actor – Reza NajiThe Song of Sparrows (Avaze gonjeshk-ha)


Best Actress – Sally Hawkins – Happy Go Lucky

2000 Berlin Film Festival

2000 Berlin Film Festival Winners

The Berlin International Film Festival known as the Berlinale takes places annually in February and is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

2000 BIFF

Winners of the four main prizes at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival were as follows: –


Golden Bear (Best Picture) – Magnolia directed by Paul Thomas Anderson


Best Director – Milos Forman – Man on the Moon


Best Actor – Denzel Washington – The Hurricane

Best Actress – Bibiana Beglau & Nadja UhlDie Stille nach dem Schuß (The Legend of Rita)



2002 Cannes Film Festival

2002 Cannes Film Festival Winners

cannes festival poster 2002

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival were as follows:

The pianist

Palm d’Or – The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski


Best Directors: Im Kwon-taek for Chi-hwa-seon (Painted Fire) &


Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love


Best Actor: Olivier Gourmet for Le Fils (The Son)


Best Actress: Kati Outinen for Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past)


Best Screenplay: Sweet Sixteen by Paul Laverty


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