Today’s top five: Phantom Thread, Gibson controversy and more

Five things that sparked our interest in the film world today…

1  Only now am I starting to get excited by Paul Thomas Anderson‘s new movie Phantom Thread which opens in US cinemas on Christmas Day (February elsewhere), and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock, a fashion designer in 1950s postwar London.

Partly this is due to the fact that the score for Phantom Thread has been composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood (as with 2008’s There Will be Blood, Anderson and Day-Lewis’ first collaboration, and The Master and Inherent Vice.)  This alone is cause for excitement. The guy’s a musical genius.

And then of course there’s a weightiness to this film’s release because of Day-Lewis. According to the three-time Academy Award winner, his second collaboration with Anderson will be his LAST.EVER.FILM. Can it be so?!?

Owen Gleiberman of Variety says “it seems more than likely that Day-Lewis will, at some point, want to act again because that’s such a dominating dimension of who he is.”

But come on, what do we know of the real man? The guy takes sabbaticals to do woodwork and cobbling. This could really be it.

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2  If you haven’t yet seen the trailer for 2018’s Game Night then get onto it. It came out a few weeks ago and looks funny as hell. Here it is again.

Mainly my thoughts are as follows. THIS CAST IS FRIGGIN’ AWESOME.

I’ve just finished watching Ozark so I am in slight awe of Jason Bateman right now. (One word: REVELATION.) But there’s also Kyle Chandler. Love him. Rachel McAdams, I always find enjoyable to watch. Then… wait a minute. Was that just JESSE PLEMONS peering round the door. Oh hell, yes it was. And I’m sold.

(Set for release: Feb/March 2018; Directors: John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein –Horrible Bosses writing team.)

3  I consider myself a nice person, but I have to admit – I often take great pleasure in comically harsh reviews. You know, the ones that make you sort of laugh-gasp, and turn your face all taut. It’s usually just because they’re well-written and the choice of words amuses.

Anyway, the most recent mega-cuss I took delight in was from The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw, as he reviewed Daddy’s Home 2. As a taster, this is what he had to say about Mel Gibson.

…this can be a moderately successful film until Mel Gibson shows up and opens his mouth. Or even just smiles. Then he’s a kind of grinning death’s-head of unfunny, toxically irradiating the entire film with poison rays of conceited non-charm..

“Poison rays of conceited non-charm”. Ouch.

It seems Gibson, 61, will continue to be a figure of controversy, having already been accused of racist and anti-Semitic behaviour and domestic abuse. Surely there is no way back for the fella.

Here he is on Graham Norton.

4   There’s a great list on IndieWire of the 20 best film directors to come over to TV in the 21st Century.  The first four on the list are women I rate so highly, (see FilmsInFive’s list here) that it made me childishly happy to see them at the top… and in fact this site always pleases me with its efforts to showcase the talents of female directors. [Insert applause here.]

5  Ever been interested in learning more about filmmaking on a very basic level? There’s a book that recently came out called The Little White Lies Guide to Making Your Own Movie: In 39 Steps by Matt Thrift which is said to be good if you like to bypass technical jargon.

Matthew Thrift is a freelance film writer and actor who contributes to Little White Lies, The Guardian, bfi.org.uk and is editor of UK film blog, Cinephile.

Critical Popcorn‘s Dan Bullock says this of the book: “If you’ve got a slight interest in making your own film, even if you’ve spent most of your time just loving the exploration and escapism, this one pulls you in and doesn’t let you go with simple, but very useful, information that gets right to the jist of what you could do or make, if you just got on with it.”

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What’s grabbed your attention in the film world today?

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