Phantom Thread à la française, Becker's fashion film par excellence draws on the director's childhood memories of his Irish mother's haute couture atelier. An imperious designer (Raymond Rouleau) is so obsessed with imparting "soul" to his creations that he treats all the humans around him as minions to be manipulated. When a young woman from the provinces (Micheline Presle) arrives to marry his best friend, the cruel and capricious couturier meets his match. None other than Jean Paul Gaultier claims that Falbalas "gave me my vocation in life. It directed the way that I should make fashion — somebody in action, making the clothes, doing the fittings, having a muse. It was a very good portrait of the profession." "Becker's first masterwork.… Becker himself was a self-described 'maniac' about details, and he calibrates the film's action exquisitely" (Richard Brody, The New Yorker).
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