Lovesick: The Complicated Relationship of "Phantom Thread"

  • MUBI
This essay discusses the end of Phantom Thread in depth and should be read after seeing the film to avoid spoilers.Reynolds Woodcock, an esteemed and sybaritic dressmaker, believes himself to be cursed, incapable of being loved the way he wants. He’s unwilling to alter his life to accommodate a partner, as his is an existence besotted by the rigor of routine, rules, and persnickety tics. The quietude he desires has a hermetic feeling; he says an air of quiet death suffuses his house, but doesn’t realize it's because his serenity is forced, unnatural. As portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis, Reynolds is a fastidious man, one whose attire is never less than immaculate, whose choice and use of words is trenchant and unsparing. Reynolds’s assiduous attention to details, and his utter devotion to his craft, have brought him illustrious customers and a certain amount of influence. But such self-allegiance,
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