Review Roundup: Phantom Thread, Journey’s End and Makala

Three new films arrive today, including a major Oscar contender.

Phantom Thread is the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master) and stars Daniel Day-Lewis in what is said to be his final film role. It’s about an acclaimed dressmaker in the 1950s and his obsessive life and relationship with a new muse.

Journey’s End is a new adaptation of the play by R.C. Sheriff, set in the trenches at the end of World War I. Paul Bettany, Sam Claflin and Asa Butterfield star. Finally Makala is an observational documentary following a young man trying to make a living selling charcoal in Congo.

Read on for some reviews of these titles, and pop in to make up your own mind!

PHANTOM THREAD
“A lush, grand, compelling drama set in the stultifying world of 1950s London fashion”
5/5 – Irish Independent

“There is such pure delicious pleasure in this film, in its strangeness, its vehemence, its flourishes of absurdity, carried off with superb elegance”
5/5 – Guardian

“Daniel Day-Lewis retires in style with a thrillingly kinky fashion romance”
5/5 – Telegraph

“Paul Thomas Anderson ’s sly oddness is all his own. Heck, the thing is nearly a comedy”
4/5 – Irish Times

“The film is of grand scope and filled with an eerily ambiguous sense of unease, but it works because of the way the key players handle the material”
4/5 – RTE

JOURNEY’S END
“This haunting, sensitive film is another reminder of the futility of war, rendered small-scale and close-up in this instance but with big implications”
4/5 – RTE

“The first world war is one of the 20th century’s oldest, grimmest tales of futility and slaughter. Dibb and his excellent cast put new passion into it”
4/5 – Guardian

“Few stage staples from 90 years ago would easily translate to the screen today, yet R.C. Sherriff’s once near-ubiquitous “Journey’s End” proves potent as ever in this sturdy new adaptation”
Variety

“A robust, sinewy production that honours the film’s enduring themes and proves that it has stood the test of time”
Screen International

“A genuinely moving and thoroughly affecting piece of filmmaking, which tells a simple story with honesty and commendable reserve”
4/5 – HeyuGuys

MAKALA
“Emmanuel Gras’ work is simultaneously a hypno-doc, a compressed, contemplative real-time chronicle of a pre-industrial way of life”
4/5 – Irish Times

“Emmanuel Gras’ camera embraces the subject’s every move with such rapt intimacy and cinematic poetry it’s easy to forget this is not a fictional drama”
Variety

“One of those sly, low-key films whose early scenes will leave you unsure whether you’re watching a documentary or a drama marked by a docu-real aesthetic, Makala’s depiction of back-breaking labor is as no-frills as the work itself”
IndieWire

“A viewing experience that is not so much the study of a man but a sensory immersion; a journey of sweat and blood and steadfast resolution that is keenly, painfully felt”
5/5 – The List


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