Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread

Woodcock, played with a meticulous air of control by Daniel Day-Lewis, certainly sees the bodies of his customers, all of them women, as an opportunity to display his own art, to say nothing of the care he takes in his own body, which he keeps handsomely maintained: shoes polished, nose hairs ceremoniously clipped, suits impeccably tailored. But the substance of Woodcock’s art isn’t outright invention. It’s transformation. Each dress he makes is a mix of his own taste and personal history blended with those of his customer. The most important ingredient of them all is what the woman desires, which is of course — given that she’s come to the house of Woodcock — to look beautiful. “In his work,” says Alma, narrating to us from a not-distant future, “I become perfect.” And through his work, as embodied by her, Woodcock becomes perfect, too.

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