“I cannot begin my day with a confrontation, please. I’m delivering the dress today, and I can’t take up space with confrontation. I simply don’t have time for confrontations.”

Reynolds Woodcock

Its first half is a portrait of a fastidious man against a period backdrop of couture dressmaking with Paul Thomas Anderson’s usual verisimilitude, but this is not a film about fashion. Daniel Day Lewis’ (allegedly final) performance is excellent, and the sound design deftly demonstrates how the external world grates upon him, but the character is less accessible than Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Patience is required until the second half which demonstrates the film’s real focus, which is how a relationship works with such an obsessive fussy individual — distance, emotional manipulation and codependency.

8/10