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Movie reviews: Phantom Thread, All The Money In The World

PHANTOM THREAD 
(NC16)

Gary Oldman will likely strike gold on Oscar night for Darkest Hour, but Daniel Day-Lewis will not go down without a fight in his swansong.

Playing a celebrated but eccentric haute couture designer to the rich and famous, Day-Lewis is in his element as the meticulous and immaculately dressed perfectionist Reynolds Woodcock, who falls for mysterious working-class waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps).

She takes to his luxurious life well, but this is no Cinderella story.

Anyone familiar with director Paul Thomas Anderson's works will know he spins unconventional yarns.

What is set up as a charming designer-muse relationship turns into a bewildering battle of wills.Day-Lewis, a three-time Oscar winner, delivers another tour de force. Luxembourger newcomer Krieps is excellent, as is Lesley Manville as Reynolds' long-suffering sister.

Just like the intricate and lush gowns Woodcock produces, Anderson has also gifted us with a gorgeous film to behold. - JOANNE SOH


ALL THE MONEY IN 
THE WORLD (NC16)

It is hard for All The Money In The World to emerge from the shadow of its unique production backstory, in which Kevin Spacey, originally cast as real-life oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, was replaced by Christopher Plummer at the eleventh hour because of alleged sexual misconduct.

But Ridley Scott's latest retelling of the 1973 kidnapping of Getty's 16-year-old grandson, whom Getty refused to pay the paltry US$17 million ransom for, is epic and poignant.

If anything, the last-minute recasting is testament to Scott's prowess as a film-maker and Plummer as a thespian.

A money-obsessed cocktail of arrogance and vulnerability, you cannot help but pity the older Getty at times.

The film's only shortcoming is the kidnapped heir (Charlie Plummer), who functions merely as a tool to keep his mother (Michelle Williams) and former Central Intelligence Agency spy (Mark Wahlberg) on the move.

Ultimately, Scott's version is not a mere biography, but also a bitter reminder of the poisonous effect wealth can have on one's humanity. - SAMFREY TAN

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