101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Paul Thomas Anderson knows his way around a taut, slow narrative burn, but none are more retrained and razor sharp than Phantom Thread, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as fastidiously controlling dressmaker par excellence, Reynolds Woodcock, in post-war London. The slow unraveling of Woodcock is the meticulous deconstruction of love and art itself. So powerful an experience, Day-Lewis retired from acting after its completion. “Before making the film, I didn’t know I was going to stop acting,” Day-Lewis told W Magazine. “I do know that Paul [Thomas Anderson] and I laughed a lot before we made the movie. And then we stopped laughing because we were both overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. That took us by surprise: We didn’t realize what we had given birth to. It was hard to live with. And still is.”

READ: Paul Thomas Anderson reunites with creative “spouse” Daniel Day-Lewis to script Phantom Thread, a story about creative obsession that isn't as autobiographical as some might think.