The 472nd film I have seen in theaters…
Daniel Day-Lewis, in his purported final film, gives us an amazing performance in this 1950’s tale by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Reynolds Woodcock is one of the most skilled dressmakers in London. He is also a high functioning OCD disaster. He appears domineering, a perfectionist, but it masks his compulsive routine and a deep, abiding, love for his late mother. His sister Cyril is the real power in the “House of Woodcock”, managing her brother’s obsessive behavior to keep the business running. Having cast aside his previous lover, Reynolds travels to the country and meets Alma, a waitress. He falls for her and moves her into his home.
Alma struggles under the opressive home, finding her place while trying to get Reynolds to devote more time to her, away from his work. Slowly, she begins to find her place, taking drastic action to secure his love.
Daniel Day-Lewis is an acting legend, and his powers are on full display here as he morphs into Woodcock. What always catches me off guard is how complete his performances are. You truly forget that this is an actor, his method is that strong. This is supposedly his last film, which makes me very sad. He’s earned it though, just as he’s earned his Oscar nomination.
Lesley Manville pulls a surprise supporting actress nomination for her role as Cyril. Her performance is all the more impressive given Cyril’s stoic demeanor.
Vicky Krieps delivers a breakout performance as Alma. This quiet woman slowly endures the madness of Reynolds lifestyle, all the while loving him and trying to gain power in the home. A well acted role. Hopefully this opens some doors for her.
I saw this at my local art house cinema, and I was fairly disappointed by some of my fellow movie goers. Some giggling girls in the back spent most of the film laughing at Day-Lewis’ quirks, not letting the film draw them in. This is to their detriment, as they missed a masterpiece. Anderson has given us a real gem in this film. Aside from the nuanced story and excellent performances, what made me love this film was the music. My God, this score is beautiful. Jonny Greenwood re-teams with Anderson to give the best score of the year. This is the winner. I think it is also a lock for Costume Design. I don’t see it winning Best Picture, or Supporting Actress. Day-Lewis is the winner for Best Actor though. No way will the Academy not honor this guy for his last role.