Tailor made to both seduce and estrange; Paul Thomas Anderson’s deftly spun yarn of obsession is captivating and quietly alluring.
Before I gush over Anderson’s delicate framing and Jonny Greenwood’s swooning, orchestral arrangements; let’s unravel the story. It takes place in a newly decadent post-war 1950s London and follows esteemed dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) who compartmentalises his life so personal distractions can’t penetrate the bubble he builds around his obsessive work. Woodcock allows only two people into his space: his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) who takes care of the day-to-day business of living, and his mother, who is dead but spookily ever present. It’s when he meets Alma (Vicky Krieps - stealing every scene from under Day-Lewis) that the seams of his obsessive life are revealed. Alma is not like the other muses he tires of. She has a confidence that surprises him, yet when the fascination that fuels his longing for her inevitably fades, she adopts a sinister method of reigniting his interest.
With Day-Lewis once again, and for the last time? on top form, Anderson has sewn together an otherworldly masterpiece. (research Jack Whiting)
See it before you too tire of the next thrill…