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Brace yourself for this one, movie junkies. This December, when Paul Thomas Anderson's latest drama Phantom Thread lands in theaters, it will be the last time that we can anticipate a new performance by Daniel Day-Lewis on the big screen. Sure, we'll always have his full body of work to cherish. But the legendary screen performer has announced his retirement from film acting, and so long as it sticks, Phantom Thread will be his final role. See what his last performance will entail in the film's first trailer, which just arrived:
Needless to say, there's a lot to unpack from this trailer, but we'd expect nothing less from the brilliant filmmaker behind such multi-layered masterpieces as Boogie Nights, The Master, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Inherent Vice. A lot will be made about the fact that Phantom Thread reunites Daniel Day-Lewis with Paul Thomas Anderson, the man who pushed all the right buttons in There Will Be Blood to create a towering monster of a character in Daniel Plainview. You can see the seeds of power and control being exerted by Day-Lewis as he plays this new character, Reynolds Woodcock.
And, because this is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, you can see how obsession with control starts to tear a person apart... only, instead of it being a quest to control oil fields, or dismantle a rookie preacher's faith in a higher being, PTA is back to examining how love can tear a person's soul down to its core. Revisit the director's vastly underrated Punch-Drunk Love to see how this idea intrigued a younger PTA -- and look for traces of this discussion in Inherent Vice, as well.
The focus of Reynolds Woodcock's eye will be played by Vicky Krieps, personifying a waitress who is plucked from obscurity by a high-profile London clothing designer and immersed into the world of fashion when he tries to remake her in his intense vision of perfection. Only, that rarely goes according to plan, and the more this perfectionist tries to "fix" the lady he suddenly adores, the more her resistance forces him to buckle.
Phantom Thread enters a very crowded marketplace this Christmas (it opens in limited release on December 25, in time to qualify for Oscar consideration). Multiplexes expect that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be sucking all the air out of the proverbial room. What's left will fall to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. But Oscar hopefuls like The Greatest Showman, Molly's Game and Steve Spielberg's The Post also will be competing for the so-called Adult Dollar, where discerning patrons plunk down cash to be challenged by cinema. How will this movie fare? Time will tell.