Why Phantom Thread won’t win the Oscar for Best Picture

We’re handicapping the odds on the nine Best Picture contenders for the March 4 Academy Awards. Today: Phantom Thread.

Paul Thomas Anderson is adored by critics, who have lavished awards upon his artful character studies over the past 20 years. Academy voters are slightly less enchanted: he’s received eight nominations and zero wins.

Two are current: Best Picture and Best Director nods for Phantom Thread, out of a total of six Oscar nominations for this high-fashion tale of perverse love, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville.

Don’t count on PTA collaring either of his personal bids, especially Best Picture. Phantom Thread’s male lead Day-Lewis has strong critical support, as always, but the movie failed to stitch up the kind of advance kudos that lead to Oscar’s top prize.

Quick Pitch: It’s London in the 1950s, and dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is the cock of the fashion walk. His fancy dresses and fussy devotion to details make women swoon, but his needle is blunted by his managing sister (Lesley Manville) and manoeuvring lover (Vicky Krieps).

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Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville.

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson.

Nominations: 6.

Key early kudos: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Toronto Film Critics Association.

Box office (domestic, U.S. dollars): $ 18.2 million.

Ladbrokes odds: 100/1

Howell’s line: Oscar history says the Academy won’t like the cut of Phantom Thread’s cloth.

Star rating: 3 stars (out of 4)


TORONTO STAR

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