“Phantom Thread” is about him. But it’s also about her.
During the scene in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film where fastidious high fashion dressmaker Daniel Day-Lewis and his muse played by German actress Vicky Kreips first meet, I thought: He’s dressing her with his eyes. .
He dresses 1950s royalty and debutantes and becomes obsessed with designing for her form. Dismissive and covetous, he has a need for her, just not her presence.
And this gives her emotional leverage.
Somewhere between her slurping tea and crunching toast – their sounds amusingly heightened – and his mercurial outbursts at his loss of privacy, they find a weird middle ground and become collaborators out of mutual self interest.