We find him searching for a new companion, his next live-in model and muse. He finds her in an unrefined waitress in a seaside resort restaurant, where he delivers the coyest, most decadent breakfast order of all time, which is in itself a seduction. Alma (Vicky Krieps) is a naive, coltish girl, but like a sheath of fine silk, Reynolds sees potential in what he might shape her into, snipping, cutting and sewing her into the perfect woman. He just never suspected that underneath that seemingly pliant surface, there might be more strength to her than meets the eye.
Simply describing the facts of the story flattens it, and doesn’t come close to communicating what a heady, mysterious and sensual spell Anderson casts with “Phantom Thread.” Like Reynolds, the film holds you at arm’s length, keeps you remote, unsure and unsettled. But soon Alma’s force is too strong, and we happily submit to her will. If you go in expecting a Daniel Day-Lewis movie, you’ll walk away with a Vicky Krieps movie, and we’re all the better for it. The Luxembourgian actress will sweep you off your feet.