Paul Thomas Anderson Narrating ‘Phantom Thread’ Screen Tests Is Pure Film Nerd Joy — Watch

Hear PTA compare Vicky Krieps to Ingrid Bergman, and wax poetic about Lesley Manville’s “luminescent skin.”

Will we ever stop being in awe of Paul Thomas Anderson? The auteur filmmaker’s precise eye and attention to detail are unparalleled, as evidenced by these narrated “Phantom Thread” screen tests. With characteristic eloquence, Anderson discusses everything from lens choices, lighting, and set design in this fascinating audio commentary. The screen tests also reveal just how good the film’s three actors are, beginning wth the enigmatic Vicky Krieps, who is entirely captivating without uttering a single word.

“These tests with Vicky were the first time we ever shot her on film,” says Anderson. “It reminded me of a great documentary called ‘Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words,’ where they have screen tests she did when she came to Hollywood. She has absolutely no make-up on but she looks like she has make-up on, which is astonishing.”

Anderson laments wallpapering over a beautiful hand-painted wall in Cyril’s office, but recognizes that sacrifices must be made for Lesley Manville’s skin: “You’d have to be pretty foolish to not light her well. She is a terrific actress, and she has a face that is a stop and a half brighter than everybody else’s in the movie. She has luminescent skin, as they say.”

Exhibiting his own Reynolds Woodcock-esque particularity, Anderson cannot hide his disdain for a certain white porcelain teapot. “I think the biggest thing we learned from these tests is just how much we disliked that teapot,” he says. “It definitely didn’t belong in the House of Woodcock.”

The relationship between Reynolds and Cyril feels fully fleshed out even in these early screen tests. It’s no surprise, when you consider the combined acting chops of Manville and Daniel Day-Lewis. “When I saw the two of them sitting on the couch like this, I figured we had something good on our hands,” Anderson says. “Because they looked like two orphans to me who’ve known each other for quite a long time.”

Watch the “Phantom Thread” screen tests with Anderson’s commentary below.

Oscar Nominee Jonny Greenwood on Jumping From Radiohead to ‘Phantom Thread’ Orchestral Score

This story on Jonny Greenwood first ran in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine. 

Jonny Greenwood always wanted to write music for strings. He played viola for youth orchestras and was humbled to even be the worst player in the back of a room full of talented musicians playing Sibelius.

Somewhere along the way, though, he picked up a guitar and joined what would become one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Radiohead. So his initial dream was put on hold.

Now he’s been nominated for an Oscar for his original score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread,” his first nomination for only his eighth film composition. And with this work, Greenwood has found some assurance he didn’t have when he was first playing viola.

“I’m a little more confident now,” he said in an email interview with TheWrap. “Confident that some of the ideas I orchestrate will sound how I imagine. That first run-through is always pretty tense: sections that sound nothing like how you hoped, and if you’re lucky, a few sections that sound better.”

Also Read: ‘Phantom Thread’ Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

“Phantom Thread” is set in the 1950s in London’s fashion district and deals with the life of the meticulous and stringent designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). And like Woodcock’s garments, Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” score feels woven with care, as interlacing strings race in billowing layers beneath the light patter of piano keys. It’s lush and elegant but can feel equally melancholic, as the strings seem to languish and the piano forms mournful puddles.

To tap into Anderson’s vision of the ’50s, Greenwood gave the character a record collection. He focused on austere and baroque arrangements for Reynolds and more heartfelt romantic music for his love, Alma (Vicky Krieps), with both styles emulating Glenn Gould’s piano work and period orchestral recordings of Bach and Vivaldi.

“The challenge was to avoid pastiche or anything frivolous,” Greenwood said. “In a way, sinister/strange music is a little easier; being sincerely romantic and not kitsch took a long time to figure out. I just had to trust the orchestra to lift the music up.”

Also Read: Radiohead Releases Stop-Motion Music Clip for ‘Burn The Witch’ (Video)

That orchestra was the London Contemporary Orchestra, the same group Greenwood entrusted with the arrangements to “Burn the Witch,” the lead track on Radiohead’s most recent album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” And his work on film scores has informed his rock music to a great degree.

“By the time we came to record ‘A Moon Shaped Pool,’ I had the confidence to push the idea of making the strings on that record more integral to some of the songs instead of just an overdubbed afterthought,” Greenwood said.

This is the fourth collaboration between Greenwood and Anderson. He enjoys how the director cuts his scenes directly to the music, freeing Greenwood and his orchestra to play in a style that was truer to the ’50s. “Paul is good company and, like his films, very amusing,” Greenwood said. “Plus, he tends to make the music very prominent, so it’s a very cooperative endeavor with lots of discussion and shared ideas.”

Also Read: Vicky Krieps on How ‘Phantom Thread’ Depicts Love, Power and Poisonous Relationships (Video)

Greenwood said there’s a dramatic difference between the “badly played piano demos recorded on my phone” and what finally comes out of working with the orchestra. And after months of writing on paper, hearing that final product is still invigorating.

“I always compare it to a fireworks display,” Greenwood said. “Lots of planning, and all over so quickly.”

Go here for more from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap Oscar Magazine.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Phantom Thread’ Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

Vicky Krieps on How ‘Phantom Thread’ Depicts Love, Power and Poisonous Relationships (Video)

Radiohead, Hans Zimmer Team for ‘Planet Earth: Blue Planet II’ Soundtrack

Radiohead Releases New Music Video Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Video)

Radiohead Releases Stop-Motion Music Clip for ‘Burn The Witch’ (Video)

This story on Jonny Greenwood first ran in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine. 

Jonny Greenwood always wanted to write music for strings. He played viola for youth orchestras and was humbled to even be the worst player in the back of a room full of talented musicians playing Sibelius.

Somewhere along the way, though, he picked up a guitar and joined what would become one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Radiohead. So his initial dream was put on hold.

Now he’s been nominated for an Oscar for his original score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread,” his first nomination for only his eighth film composition. And with this work, Greenwood has found some assurance he didn’t have when he was first playing viola.

“I’m a little more confident now,” he said in an email interview with TheWrap. “Confident that some of the ideas I orchestrate will sound how I imagine. That first run-through is always pretty tense: sections that sound nothing like how you hoped, and if you’re lucky, a few sections that sound better.”

“Phantom Thread” is set in the 1950s in London’s fashion district and deals with the life of the meticulous and stringent designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). And like Woodcock’s garments, Greenwood’s “Phantom Thread” score feels woven with care, as interlacing strings race in billowing layers beneath the light patter of piano keys. It’s lush and elegant but can feel equally melancholic, as the strings seem to languish and the piano forms mournful puddles.

To tap into Anderson’s vision of the ’50s, Greenwood gave the character a record collection. He focused on austere and baroque arrangements for Reynolds and more heartfelt romantic music for his love, Alma (Vicky Krieps), with both styles emulating Glenn Gould’s piano work and period orchestral recordings of Bach and Vivaldi.

“The challenge was to avoid pastiche or anything frivolous,” Greenwood said. “In a way, sinister/strange music is a little easier; being sincerely romantic and not kitsch took a long time to figure out. I just had to trust the orchestra to lift the music up.”

That orchestra was the London Contemporary Orchestra, the same group Greenwood entrusted with the arrangements to “Burn the Witch,” the lead track on Radiohead’s most recent album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” And his work on film scores has informed his rock music to a great degree.

“By the time we came to record ‘A Moon Shaped Pool,’ I had the confidence to push the idea of making the strings on that record more integral to some of the songs instead of just an overdubbed afterthought,” Greenwood said.

This is the fourth collaboration between Greenwood and Anderson. He enjoys how the director cuts his scenes directly to the music, freeing Greenwood and his orchestra to play in a style that was truer to the ’50s. “Paul is good company and, like his films, very amusing,” Greenwood said. “Plus, he tends to make the music very prominent, so it’s a very cooperative endeavor with lots of discussion and shared ideas.”

Greenwood said there’s a dramatic difference between the “badly played piano demos recorded on my phone” and what finally comes out of working with the orchestra. And after months of writing on paper, hearing that final product is still invigorating.

“I always compare it to a fireworks display,” Greenwood said. “Lots of planning, and all over so quickly.”

Go here for more from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap Oscar Magazine.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Phantom Thread' Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

Vicky Krieps on How 'Phantom Thread' Depicts Love, Power and Poisonous Relationships (Video)

Radiohead, Hans Zimmer Team for 'Planet Earth: Blue Planet II' Soundtrack

Radiohead Releases New Music Video Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Video)

Radiohead Releases Stop-Motion Music Clip for 'Burn The Witch' (Video)

‘Phantom Thread’ Star Vicky Krieps Joins ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

Following her breakout role in “Phantom Thread,” Vicky Krieps is set to join Sony and MGM’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the studio’s sequel to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” The thriller currently stars Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, “Blade Runner 2049’s” Sylvia Hoeks as Salander’s twin sister, and “The Square’s” Claes Bang […]

Following her breakout role in “Phantom Thread,” Vicky Krieps is set to join Sony and MGM’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the studio’s sequel to “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” The thriller currently stars Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, “Blade Runner 2049’s” Sylvia Hoeks as Salander’s twin sister, and “The Square’s” Claes Bang […]

‘Phantom Thread’ Deleted Scenes: Here’s What Paul Thomas Anderson Cut Out of His Six-Time Oscar Nominee

Paul Thomas Anderson’s original “Phantom Thread” cut featured even more Lesley Manville.

The first cut of Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” was rumored to be around the four-hour mark, which means a lot of footage had to be cut in order to get the romance drama down to its 130-minute theatrical runtime. Recent interviews with stars Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps shine a light on a much-longer version of “Phantom Thread” that delves further into their characters, Cyril and Alma, and their relationship together.

Manville told The Film Stage that Anderson cut a prominent scene between Cyril and Alma in which the two characters begin to find common ground. In the theatrical version of the movie, Manville expertly charts her character’s gradual acceptance of Alma through her posture and glances, but Anderson had written and filmed a more overt scene in which it became clear Cyril was breaking with tradition and actually warming to one of Reynolds’ lovers.

“[It’s a scene] halfway through when Cyril starts to see that this relationship with Reynolds is slightly more serious than most of the other woman that have been in his life,” Manville said of the deleted scene. “It was in the country house and Alma finds his mother’s wedding dress that Reynolds thinks he lost.”

Earlier in the film, Reynolds tells Alma that his mother’s wedding dress as been lost (“I don’t know where it is know. It’s probably ashes,” he says), but it turns out Cyril was actually in possession of the garment the whole time and was hiding it from her brother. Alma ended up finding the dress at the Woodcock’s country home, forcing Cyril to explain herself and get Alma to keep the secret.

“Alma finds the dress and they have a kind of strange conversation about this wedding dress and then Cyril asks her to keep it quiet from Reynolds that she’s still got it,” Manville said. “But that went, and I could see why it would go, because actually you get that Cyril is warming to Alma just through the way Cyril is looking at her and smiling at her.”

Krieps, meanwhile, revealed in an interview that the original cut included a lot more of Alma’s backstory. One deleted scene featured Alma at a church where it was revealed that she had lost her mother. Anderson cut the scene and removed all traces of Alma’s backstory from the theatrical version.

“The backstory we had for Alma–which was in there much more, and they cut it out–was that she would be from Luxembourg and fled Germany during or after the war with her dad and brother and sister and the mother having died before,” Krieps said.

The actress also revealed that Anderson originally showed more of Alma’s life in the small town and not exclusively the moments where she appears opposite Reynolds.

“How I tried to create Alma was knowing about the war and learning how it was to live in the war and then after the war and then fleeing from a country to another country, being new in this country, and then trying to integrate because she was living in a little fisher village where she also had a boyfriend,” Krieps said. “It’s not in the movie anymore, but she had a little life there having become this British immigrant which to me was important because it made her this person so ready to accept rules from someone else, because that’s what she had learned coming to England, having to become part of the culture, which is not part of her culture.”

It’s a testament to Anderson and the actors that many of what would’ve been included in the deleted scenes is still telegraphed in the performances. “Phantom Thread” is currently nominated for six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film is now playing in theaters nationwide.

TheWrap Screening Series 2017 Portraits, From Gary Oldman to Armie Hammer (Photos)

Here are some of the stars and filmmakers who have discussed their work at Wrap events this season.

Here are some of the stars and filmmakers who have discussed their work at Wrap events this season.

Vicky Krieps on How ‘Phantom Thread’ Depicts Love, Power and Poisonous Relationships (Video)

Set in the London fashion world of the 1950s, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” examines how famed designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) attempts to mold and manipulate his latest muse, a plain working class girl named Alma.

The story also examines what behavior we tolerate from powerful men, a particularly relevant theme in the era of #MeToo. This idea resonated with Vicky Krieps, the breakout actress who stars as Alma opposite Day-Lewis.

“I don’t think that just because you’re talented you can get away with everything,” Krieps told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly. “This is also an American way of thinking, that because you get something, you are allowed to be whoever you want to be, because the goal is the most important. Like what am I getting out of a relationship?”

Also Read: ‘Phantom Thread’ Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

Krieps also decried what she sees as a transactional aspect of such relationships. “If you meet someone three times, after this you have to kiss, because if you don’t, what’s it for? I find it so interesting, because it’s all aiming the goal of getting something out of it. This is why aiming the goal is getting something out of there.”

She continued: “This is where it comes from that someone can be an asshole, because he just can show what he’s gaining from there and what he’s bringing on the table, which I think is boring,” Krieps said. “That’s what Alma is proving. Even a genius, once you meet a real person, it all just crumbles because it’s not real.”

Krieps and “Phantom Thread’s” costume designer Mark Bridges spoke as part of TheWrap’s awards Screening series following a showing of the film at the Landmark Theatres in Los Angeles Tuesday night. For the Oscar-winning Bridges, he’s worked with Anderson on each of his eight films, but even though imagining the fashion world was a more familiar setting, Krieps and Bridges both agreed that Anderson is always full of surprises.

Also Read: Costume Designers Guild Puts ‘Phantom Thread,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on the Best-Dressed List

“I was excited by the concept, but you never know what you’re going to get,” Bridges said. “You never know if you’re going to get porn in the valley or oil drilling in Texas or hippies or trips to Hawaii on pudding points. You never know what you’re going to get with him. I was like, ‘Okay, this is our journey this time.’”

“Knowing Paul, he likes to play with all of this, and he likes to invite all these ideas to the audience, and he likes the audience to have their own ideas,” Krieps added.

One of the more notable scenes in “Phantom Thread” comes when Alma and Woodcock are sitting quietly over breakfast, only for Woodcock to be driven up the wall by the noise made when Alma scrapes butter onto her toast. But Krieps and Bridges didn’t find the scene to be outrageous or out of the ordinary when considering the ups and downs in any relationship.

Also Read: Daniel Day-Lewis Teases Plans After Retirement From Acting: ‘I’m Not Going to Stay Idle’

“It just seemed very real to me, the idiosyncrasies of life,” Bridges said. “This was their own personal happiness and hell.”

“Every couple finds their way. It can be very strange. Sometimes sexual, sometimes some game. Look at old couples, they have really individual strange ways of communicating, and only they understand,” Krieps added.

More so than manipulation, Krieps said Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is a movie about love.

“What is love? Why is it such a beautiful thing and powerful thing but also such a destructive thing? Why can it destroy us but also make a life change, so it’s everything,” Krieps said. “I think that’s why in the end it’s an honest approach, and why it is moving people, I think.”

Watch a clip from the Q&A above. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Costume Designers Guild Puts ‘Phantom Thread,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on the Best-Dressed List

‘Phantom Thread’ Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

Critics Celebrate Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread’ as a ‘Gem,’ ‘Pure Delicious Pleasure’

Set in the London fashion world of the 1950s, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” examines how famed designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) attempts to mold and manipulate his latest muse, a plain working class girl named Alma.

The story also examines what behavior we tolerate from powerful men, a particularly relevant theme in the era of #MeToo. This idea resonated with Vicky Krieps, the breakout actress who stars as Alma opposite Day-Lewis.

“I don’t think that just because you’re talented you can get away with everything,” Krieps told TheWrap’s Matt Donnelly. “This is also an American way of thinking, that because you get something, you are allowed to be whoever you want to be, because the goal is the most important. Like what am I getting out of a relationship?”

Krieps also decried what she sees as a transactional aspect of such relationships. “If you meet someone three times, after this you have to kiss, because if you don’t, what’s it for? I find it so interesting, because it’s all aiming the goal of getting something out of it. This is why aiming the goal is getting something out of there.”

She continued: “This is where it comes from that someone can be an asshole, because he just can show what he’s gaining from there and what he’s bringing on the table, which I think is boring,” Krieps said. “That’s what Alma is proving. Even a genius, once you meet a real person, it all just crumbles because it’s not real.”

Krieps and “Phantom Thread’s” costume designer Mark Bridges spoke as part of TheWrap’s awards Screening series following a showing of the film at the Landmark Theatres in Los Angeles Tuesday night. For the Oscar-winning Bridges, he’s worked with Anderson on each of his eight films, but even though imagining the fashion world was a more familiar setting, Krieps and Bridges both agreed that Anderson is always full of surprises.

“I was excited by the concept, but you never know what you’re going to get,” Bridges said. “You never know if you’re going to get porn in the valley or oil drilling in Texas or hippies or trips to Hawaii on pudding points. You never know what you’re going to get with him. I was like, ‘Okay, this is our journey this time.'”

“Knowing Paul, he likes to play with all of this, and he likes to invite all these ideas to the audience, and he likes the audience to have their own ideas,” Krieps added.

One of the more notable scenes in “Phantom Thread” comes when Alma and Woodcock are sitting quietly over breakfast, only for Woodcock to be driven up the wall by the noise made when Alma scrapes butter onto her toast. But Krieps and Bridges didn’t find the scene to be outrageous or out of the ordinary when considering the ups and downs in any relationship.

“It just seemed very real to me, the idiosyncrasies of life,” Bridges said. “This was their own personal happiness and hell.”

“Every couple finds their way. It can be very strange. Sometimes sexual, sometimes some game. Look at old couples, they have really individual strange ways of communicating, and only they understand,” Krieps added.

More so than manipulation, Krieps said Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is a movie about love.

“What is love? Why is it such a beautiful thing and powerful thing but also such a destructive thing? Why can it destroy us but also make a life change, so it’s everything,” Krieps said. “I think that’s why in the end it’s an honest approach, and why it is moving people, I think.”

Watch a clip from the Q&A above. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Costume Designers Guild Puts 'Phantom Thread,' 'Beauty and the Beast' on the Best-Dressed List

'Phantom Thread' Film Review: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Strike a Pose

Critics Celebrate Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Phantom Thread' as a 'Gem,' 'Pure Delicious Pleasure'

Before Vicky Krieps Starred in ‘Phantom Thread,’ She Made This Award-Winning Short Film — Watch

Krieps won numerous best actress awards at film festivals around the world for her performance in “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart.”

Chances are high that most people who go in to see “Phantom Thread” for Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis will walk out of the theater with only Vicky Krieps on the brain. The Luxembourgish actress makes one hell of an impression in her English-language debut, often stealing scenes right out from under Day-Lewis and co-star Lesley Manville.

Before breaking out in Anderson’s latest, Krieps was the star of numerous European movies, many of them German productions. Her work in the 2014 comedy-drama “The Chambermaid Lynn” is what first attracted Anderson’s eye to the actress, and she won numerous best actress prizes for her work in the short filmPitter Patter Goes My Heart.”

Directed by Christoph Rainer, “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart” is a 20-minute short that puts Krieps front and center in nearly every frame. The actress stars as Lisa, a hopeless romantic who goes to desperate measures to win back her former love. Krieps won awards at festivals in Rahway, Los Angeles, Jaipur, and more.

“Pitter Patter Goes My Heart” is now streaming in its entirety in Vimeo. If “Phantom Thread” isn’t enough proof that Krieps is a major new talent, then you better stream this ASAP.

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