Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) is a dashing, middle-aged couturier in 1950s London who runs a renowned fashion house alongside his imperious sister Cyril (Manville). He meets lovely waitress Alma (Krieps) over breakfast one day, and sparks fly. He then brings Alma to live with him as his muse, lover and eventually, his wife. Reynolds proves to be a demanding, even cruel partner but soon realizes that he may have met his match in the strong-willed Alma.
Ten years after “There will be Blood”, director Anderson and Day-Lewis team up again for what is purported to be the actor’s last screen performance. (Let’s hope he changes his mind!) Oscar winner Day-Lewis portrays Woodcock with a combination of gentle charm and cold tyranny; he’s a moody, complex perfectionist who’s basically unreachable. Both Luxembourg native Krieps and Manville play to this same high standard. Stunningly shot and evoking shades of Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk, this sumptuous, elegant near-masterpiece suggests that maybe they do make them like they used to, at least once in a while.