The arrival of a new Paul Thomas Anderson film is a time for celebration. The premiere of the film’s first footage is simply the promise of great things to come. At least, that’s how it has been for the last two decades, with the release of such modern classics as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master and more, and that should likely be the case with Phantom Thread, the latest from the acclaimed writer/director and what is sadly said to contain Daniel Day-Lewis’s final performance. If the trailer gives us a proper indication, we’re soon set for another grand celebration.
The auteur filmmaker’s eight feature film, and the first to take place entirely outside of the United States, Phantom Thread is set in 1950’s post-war London, in a story that’s supposedly going to portray the better version of 50 Shades of Gray. Color us intrigued.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Renowned fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. With his latest film, Paul Thomas Anderson paints an illuminating portrait both of an artist on a creative journey, and the women who keep his world running.
Anderson previously directed Day-Lewis ten years prior in There Will Be Blood, in an Oscar-winning performance that might remain the actor’s (and director’s) highpoint. Phantom Thread‘s Reynolds Woodcock, based on what we’ve seen from this first trailer, decidedly won’t be as menacing and scornful as Daniel Plainview, though that’s not to suggest that he is without sin. From its location to its characters, Phantom Thread promises to be something out of Anderson’s general wheelhouse. While it’s odd to see Anderson tackle a fairly straight-laced period drama such as this one, there’s good reason to believe that the final product will be something a bit more… unconventional.
No matter what Anderson and Day-Lewis bring to the table, we’ll be sure to lace our ways to the theaters and see it for ourselves. Anderson is among the few working filmmakers who truly values the spectacle of the cinema, and with its gorgeous period details, lavish cottage backdrops and decadent costuming (of course), Phantom Thread will undoubtedly be a gift for the eyes, particularly with Anderson tackling D.P. duties.
Phantom Thread enters select theaters on December 25th. Merry Christmas to us!
Check out the trailer above and poster below.