Daniel Day-Lewis – often referred to as the best English-language actor of his generation – announced his retirement with this role for American master director Paul Thomas Anderson, in whose There Will Be Blood (2007) he previously triumphed.
In a story for which Anderson drew inspiration from Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), Day-Lewis – overflowing with noxious charm – plays successful dress designer Reynolds Woodcock. In 1950s London, he dresses royalty and lives a symbiotic life with his likewise unmarried sister. His sister and the staff ensure that his peace and quiet is never disturbed in their elegant yet rigid household. However, his excessive love of order, egotism and mother obsession are tested to breaking point when he introduces young waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps) into the house as his perfect model.
The soft lighting, gentle camera movement and romantic score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood regularly contrast with rising tension in this oppressive love triangle where everyone is constantly taking the measure of everyone else.
To accompany the film’s Dutch premiere on Friday 2 February in the Grote Zaal in 'de Doelen', the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra performed the film music composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood live. Greenwood previously wrote the highly praised score for Anderson’s There Will Be Blood. This 100-year-old orchestra was supplemented by a number of musicians from the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO), which performed the music for the recording of the soundtrack. Specially for this occasion, the orchestra was directed by LCO conductor Robert Ames.
Nominated for six Academy Awards, among which Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures.
Winner of Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Mark Bridges).