Phantom Thread. Loved it in the moment. Didn’t know where it was going, didn’t care, I just knew I wanted to be there. I’d probably put this in my top 3 Paul Thomas Anderson movies, but I’m not yet sure how I’d reshuffle them.
Punch-Drunk Love. I put this one off for a long, long time. I started very skeptical, but it won me over. Brings out sides of Sandler I never knew were there, and gotta respect a movie that drifts so freely from convention when it feels right. My PT Anderson power rankings:
Boogie Nights. It’s not my movie, but it’s a great movie.
Hard Eight. Philip Baker Hall is awesome, and so is John C. Reilly. Love how Reilly becomes a poor imitation of the expert. I love the moments of still life, coffee and pie and cigarettes and such. I felt a bit let down by the reveal. I guess you’d have to steer the climax a bit differently without it, but I didn’t really need a reason for how the story opened. I was totally on board with this strange characters. I think The Master is my favorite of Paul Thomas Anderson’s, then probably this one and then There Will Be Blood and then Magnolia? Hard to say. They’re all pretty solid.
The Passenger, 1975
The Master, 2012
The Master. Phoenix was robbed, right? Where DDL takes an amazing script written for a national hero we love to love and embodies it just like we imagined, Phoenix plays a dummy the likes of which we’ve never seen. Maybe the awards don’t capital-m Matter, but man, I can see how it would sting. But the movie: I liked it, but I didn’t really feel it. I felt the same with There Will Be Blood. Like, I didn’t want to blink for 3 hours but I haven’t wanted to see it again, either. Impressed, hell yes. But maybe this is exactly the kind of movie I should be re-watching though. Who knows. Greenwood’s score is fantastic. Hoffman is good at smug and speeches and he does the smile-with-closed-lips-audibly-breathing-out-of-the-nose thing. And his group is like a peripatetic band of gypsies, eking by at the fringe. They get an introduction to NYC high society, but that goes sour. They later run the business out of a patron’s house in Philadelphia. Their big annual conference is rather sad, and I don’t think that’s just my post-TED/Apple keynote perspective talking. Why did the whole gang pick up and leave SF, in the first place? And why is Dodd totally okay with a self-destructive stowaway? Take what you can get, I suppose.