Set in the glamour world of 1950s London when the country was still recovering from the ravages of the second world war. PHANTOM THREAD, focuses upon the life of the renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, wonderfully portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, and his sister Cyril played by the equally polished Lesley Manville, the pair become the focus of the British fashion fraternity, together they dress royalty, stars of the silver screen, socialites, and debutants with a style that they have made all their own, which has a flair and originality that can only be designed at The House of Woodcock. Women drift in and out of Woodcocks life giving the designer comfort, inspiration and friendship. come and go through Woodcock’s life, he has resigned himself to the fact that he will remain a confirmed Batchelor until, he meets a young woman who has a certain stubbornness which he is attracted to, Alma, played by Vicky Kelps, becomes a permanent part of the designers life and world, She is his lover and his motivation, Woodcock soon becomes obsessed by the young woman, and his once ordered and mapped out life is thrown into disarray and disorder as he falls hopelessly in love with her. The music for PHANTOM THREAD, is by ex-Radiohead band member Jonny Greenwood, Greenwood is a multi-instrumentalist and has written the music to several movies, THE MASTER, NORWEGIAN WOOD and possibly one of his most memorable being, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, which also starred Daniel Day Lewis, amongst these. PHANTOM THREAD, I have to say is in my opinion the best score by Greenwood thus far in his career, and with this work we hear a more delicate and melodious approach from the composer, there is a richness of sound achieved here, and at last real themes within this score, themes that are hauntingly beautiful, dramatically statemented and above all wonderfully attractive. I would not be at all surprised if Greenwood does not lift the coveted Oscar for his efforts on this score, it is a superbly written work, that is not only lush and quite opulent sounding in parts, but one that has a fragility and intimacy to it at the same time.
Each cue is tailored (forgive the pun) meticulously to each individual scene or sequence and fits like the proverbial glove, underlining, punctuating and ingratiating. Greenwood, paints a musical picture, using many colours and employing an array of textures, his music adding depth, and emotion to the movie, solo piano features throughout the work, its light and almost dream like sound, mesmerising and hypnotising on each outing. The composer combines cascading and shimmering strings with the delicate and subtle piano to evoke a sound that is synonymous with that of the popular instrumental pieces that were heard during the 1950’s, and without being disparaging or critical I was at times reminded of the sound achieved by Mantovani and other such orchestra’s that entertained during the 1950, s and 1960, s. It has that aura to it, it is gentle calming and easy on the ear but also has just the right amount of drama and darkness to make this a score that is sublime, maybe it is time to re-visit the works of Mr Greenwood, whilst we await more. Highly recommended.