Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement on Tuesday at age 60. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject his statement reads. Day-Lewis is one of the few actors to shy away from attention as you can even tell by his retirement statement. He may hate the spotlight, but he has won 3 Best Actor Oscars, more than anyone in Academy history.
He could possibly win his 4th and final Oscar with this year’s release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. The official description from IMDB is rather vague. Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, a dressmaker (Charles James) is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family. Known for his method style of preparation, Day-Lewis is bound to make it a little more interesting than described.
Who is Charles James?
Charles James was a real designer, who was born in 1906 into a wealthy military family and became known as America’s First Couturier. James is little-known in the UK, but his influence was considerably greater across the Pond, where he designed dresses for socialites and movie stars including Marlene Dietrich. By 1950, when Phantom Thread is set.
James mixed in glamorous circles. He was a close friend of Cecil Beaton whom he met while at school in Harrow, where he also met Evelyn Waugh, before being expelled for a “sexual escapade”. He apparently made no effort to hide his homosexuality, much to the ire of his father, a British army officer. In 1954, however, he married Nancy Lee Gregory, an affluent woman from Kansas who was 20 years his junior; they were together for seven years.
James is credited with inspiring Christian Dior to create The New Look, the flirtatious, fitted styling of the late Forties that revolutionized fashion in the middle of the last century.
Besides a few behind the scenes pictures on the internet, there is very little else being said about the film. If it is any good at all, the Academy may want to honor Day-Lewis one last time with Best Actor nomination. If anything, it will get him to attend the ceremony.
Phantom Thread is set to be released on the very Oscar-friendly date of December 25th.