Daniel Day-Lewis is a classy man who makes classy movies with classy people like Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s a three-time Oscar winner, who could legit be a four-time winner by this time next year. His latest, and potentially final, project—I don’t 100% buy the retirement as permanent, he f*cked off to make shoes once and still came back—is a super classy film about a mid-century couturier in London. The film is called Phantom Thread, a classy, evocative title, and it’s full of gorgeously lit, classy shots of beautiful women in beautiful gowns swanning around a classy London house in one of those classy Georgian squares. This film has one of the finest pedigrees in cinema, and is class all the way.
Daniel Day-Lewis’s character’s name is Reynolds Woodcock. REYNOLDS WOODCOCK.
There’s a rumor going around that The Phantom Thread is the “arthouse Fifty Shades of Grey”, and given that the protagonist’s name is REYNOLDS WOODCOCK, I believe it. Anderson gave us Dirk Diggler, the greatest fake porn name of all time, and now he gives us the gift that is Reynolds Woodcock, a fictional name so silly it’s rivalled only by Harry Hole. What can we infer about Phantom Thread from Reynolds Woodcock? Well obviously there is some latent horniness, backed up by all those shots of Reynolds Woodcock gazing upon his muse and model with pride and possession. In keeping with the classy theme, “Reynolds” is a name that speaks of classy British roots, complete with country house and a minor title somewhere on the family tree—or pretensions to that kind of life. And any man who goes through life with a name like Reynolds Woodcock would have to be commanding enough to keep everyone from laughing in his face upon introduction, which also feeds into those BDSM rumors about the film. Or maybe P.T. Anderson is just a huge fan of the 2007 Billy Bob Thornton movie Mr. Woodcock.
All year Oscar prognosticators have left room for The Phantom Thread. Between DDL and P.T. Anderson, it’s an automatic contender, and now we can start guessing as to the categories where it will compete. DDL for Best Actor, obviously, and right now maybe the only real challenger to Gary Oldman. Anderson for directing, sure, but also cinematography, as he acted as his own director of photography (and looks like he nailed it), and original screenplay, too, as he wrote it as well. Costumes, of course, with all those beautiful gowns. Easy to see why, originally, we thought this was a Charles James biopic. Vicky Krieps, maybe, for playing the muse, and Lesley Manville for supporting actress as Reynolds Woodcock’s sister. Jonny Greenwood’s score, also maybe. The point is, Phantom Thread looks like a major contender in all the big categories, and if it turns out as good as it looks, it could up-end the Oscar race completely. But even if it doesn’t win any Oscars, Daniel Day-Lewis’s final character is named REYNOLDS WOODCOCK, which is amazing.