Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread is set in 1950s London and follows renowned couturier Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) who lives with his sister, Cyril (Lesley Manville). Together, they are the centre of British fashion. Woodcock is a bachelor who sees women come and go in his life, providing inspiration and companionship until he someone better comes along. His latest muse is Alma (Vicky Krieps), a strong-willed woman who soon disrupts Woodcock’s once controlled and planned out life as she becomes a fixture in The House of Woodcock.
Only Daniel Day-Lewis could have led this film. I hated his character, but I also would have stood still for hours in silence at his request and succumb to his every word. He is such a powerful actor and is one of the few who can hold your attention so strongly for such a slow-burning story. The sexual tension is heavy and it’s this deep-down feeling that the film gives you that will keep rooted in your spot until the film ends.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s no surprise that the film is shot as beautifully as it is acted. Phantom Thread is PTA’s second collaboration with DD-L. Like with most of his films, a story like this can only work with their combined perfectionist qualities and accomplished talents. If this is truly DD-L’s final role before his retirement then that is a huge shame for cinema. Nobody commits quite like he does.