Day-Lewis excels in this mesmerising tale of obsession and desire. Reynolds
Woodcock - a renowned fashion designer to the rich and famous - finds himself
caught under the spell of a young waitress, who soon becomes his lover and
muse. As they get closer, Alma tires of Woodcock’s increasingly controlling
behaviour and the two struggle for power in a series of unconventional ways..
vulnerability: Post screening discussion with Natasha McKeever
thread is a fascinating portrayal of a strange character, and an equally
strange relationship. Reynolds Woodcock is a creative genius, workaholic,
perfectionist, control freak, whose attention it is hard to keep. We learn
early on in the film that when he tires of his girlfriends, his sister gets rid
of them for him. This is presumably how he thought it would be with Alma, his
latest muse and girlfriend, and the audience, too, perhaps assumes that their
affair will not end well.
things don’t quite pan out the way he and the audience predict. Alma is not
willing to be another disposable doll. She wants to love him, to really love
him. Thus the film proceeds to take us on a beautiful, and at times haunting
exploration of a mundane concept – the need to compromise in a relationship. It
also invites us to consider both what our obligations are in relationships, and
indeed, what love is, with a particular focus on how vulnerability and care fit
in to romantic love.