Jason Best reviews the latest films...

Cinema new releases for Friday 2nd February

Phantom Thread

An exquisite weave of gothic romance and haute couture comedy, There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson’s spellbinding movie traces the battle of wills between an ultra-perfectionist dressmaker in high society 1950s London and the young woman who is his mistress, model and muse. Daniel Day Lewis, in what he says will be his last film, is in immaculate form as the exacting designer. Yet little-known Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps, like the deceptively strong-willed character she plays, proves more than a match for her illustrious co-star. *****

Journey’s End

Journey's End

This gripping adaptation of RC Sheriff’s famous WW1 play doesn’t need a surfeit of blood and guts to convince us of the horrors of war. Here the agony is all in the waiting, as a weary company of British soldiers in a frontline trench in northern France ready themselves for an imminent German attack. Sam Claflin is the shell-shocked captain, keeping trauma at bay with a whisky bottle, Paul Bettany his kindly and avuncular lieutenant, and Asa Butterfield the fresh-faced new recruit. Stiff upper lips have rarely been so moving. ****

Lies We Tell

There’s a touch of Mona Lisa – the classic 1986 film, that is, not the painting – about this gripping Yorkshire-set thriller. Gabriel Byrne stars as a stoical chauffeur who is drawn into the turbulent life of his billionaire boss’s mistress (Sibylla Deen), a young Muslim woman struggling to prevent her 16-year-old sister’s arranged marriage to their violent cousin.   ***

Phantom Thread pic: Photo : Laurie Sparham / Focus F.     Journey’s End pic: Steffan Hill