The last time Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Thomas Anderson teamed up, for There Will Be Blood, they created an acclaimed drama about the early days of the oil boom, a beloved meme, and inflict a massive fear of bowling on the general populace. So what’s coming for their next, and supposedly final, collaboration? A fashion drama, of sorts.
Don’t worry, the famously mercurial Day-Lewis isn’t dead, just sick of acting. Still he’s picked a heck of a story to retire on. Set in 1950s London, in the fashion world, Day-Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock, head of the House of Woodcock. Reynolds is laser-focused on his work, not realizing he’s formed a constrictive shell around himself until somebody cracks it. The somebody, in this case, is Vicky Krieps’s Alma, who becomes Reynolds’ muse and lover, much to the consternation of his sister (Lesley Manville). But, of course, this being an Anderson film, there’s an angle of obsession, with the trailer asking the question of just what love is to a man obsessed with appearances and design.
If this sounds a little familiar, Anderson’s already done a comedic take on the same kind of protagonist, with Punch-Drunk Love, and he does tend to explore obsession in his movies. But whether this goes the route of, say, Hitchcockian thriller or a more restrained direction, we’ll have to wait to find out. Phantom Thread debuts this Christmas.