“The silk thread”: Daniel Day-Lewis’ last role celebrates free TV premiere

“The silk thread”
Daniel Day-Lewis’ final role is premiered on free TV

Alma (Vicky Krieps) and Reynolds (Daniel Day-Lewis) have a complicated relationship

© 2017 Focus Features, LLC. / Universal Pictures International

The three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis ended his acting career after “The Silk Thread”. This is the free TV premiere.

In the summer of 2017, actor Daniel Day-Lewis (64, “Lincoln”) shocked Hollywood and his fans: The native Brit announced that he would end his unprecedented acting career. That makes the film “The Silk Thread”, which celebrates its free TV premiere on October 17, 2021 (8:15 pm, Arte), his last film. His performance is determined by extremes and influenced by two female co-stars who can hold a candle to him.

An idiosyncratic team

“The Silk Thread” is set in London in the 1950s. Dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) lives under one roof with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville, 65). Together they are responsible for the brand “The House of Woodcock”, which all women, from the aristocracy to film stars, appreciate. While things are going like clockwork at work, things look rather poor for Reynolds in his private life. One day he finally meets Alma (Vicky Krieps, 38). She becomes his muse – and his lover. But the strong-willed young woman imagines life with the headstrong workaholic to be a little different than he would like. If that works out?

Swan song for one of the greats

As with all of his roles, Daniel Day-Lewis prepared meticulously for Reynolds Woodcock. Before filming “The Silk Thread”, he immersed himself in the world of fashion and designed a Balenciaga dress – from the first draft to completion. His preparation for a role has always been excessive – he is known for that.

Daniel Day-Lewis not only plays a role, he becomes the character – and can only be found as the character of the film and not as a private person during the shooting. Something that his co-star Vicky Krieps described in an interview with spot on news as “incredibly enriching”, but also “exhausting”. “When you have to deal with things that you don’t know, it’s always more exhausting than dealing with things that you already know,” said Krieps. But she does not know the private person Daniel Day-Lewis.

As inscrutable as Daniel Day-Lewis may be in his private life, he is just as terrific as an actor. As with “There Will Be Blood”, director Paul Thomas Anderson (51, “The Master”) shows his skills in “The Silk Thread”. Day-Lewis delivers an absolutely precise performance as the eccentric Reynolds Woodcock. Every handle as a fashion tailor fits perfectly, the peculiarities of this coveted bachelor seem to be tailor-made for him. In addition to all of the self-confidence in his job, Reynolds also has a touch of helplessness in his private life.

This helplessness is kept on track by Lesley Manville. As his sister Cyril, she first makes sure that everything always goes according to plan. When Vicky Krieps’ character Alma appears, the orderly life is tremendously out of joint – which Cyril also likes. Alma challenges Reynolds, two worlds and two strong personalities collide. The Berliner-by-choice Krieps doesn’t have to hide behind her famous co-star. She is his ideal counterpart for a perfidious game of cat and mouse that both of them enjoy. A love that is fueled by obsession.


“The silk thread” might not be to everyone’s taste. The film is a must for fans of Daniel Day-Lewis. The viewer can expect three strong acting performances in a drama that examines interpersonal relationships and is located in the world of fashion.


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