Phantom Thread ★★★★★

A brief word on "Phantom Thread," which was the last movie we saw in theaters before Luna was born and is perhaps the best movie ever made about the routines of only children. That might sound odd: Daniel Day-Lewis' Reynolds Woodcock isn't an only child by birth, his old so-and-so sibling is Cyril (a withering, confident, and altogether deserving Oscar nominee in Lesley Manville) and she's a major part of his life. But speaking from experience, this dude is an only child -- or a "confirmed bachelor" in the movie's terminology. His pursuit of the opposite sex is minimal compared to his desire for stability and control. "I cannot start my day with a confrontation. I simply have no time for confrontations," Reynolds says in his first scene after a future ex-muse dares to suggest a change in his breakfast.

Like an only child, Reynolds values his solitude, his perfectly engineered existence. (He lives in the "House of Woodcock," as if it weren't clear enough.) He has had companions, but never partners. It's not even that Reynolds is self-centered as much as oblivious. He only thinks of himself and is insulted when people dare to expect him to do otherwise and don't appreciate the sacrifice. Take the famed asparagus scene, where Alma (Krieps, as good as last year's best) prepares Reynolds a meal he didn't ask for with ingredients he doesn't like: "I'm admiring my own gallantry for eating it the way you prepared it."

In this reading of "Phantom Thread," routine does always win -- it's just that Reynolds' routine gets upended and rearranged by Alma into something new. She pressures Reynolds to change and then poisons him in an attempt to wrest control from his daily regime. He fights, angrily, against her challenges. She wins. He loves it and wants more. The film ends with her poisoning him again. Later, they'll become parents.

As a new father, Luna isn't feeding me toxic mushrooms, but there's something to say about a finicky adult being completely unmoored from his routine and actually reveling in the upheaval. On Tuesday morning, before the Oscar nominations, Luna sprayed pee all over me at 4 a.m. She did it again two more times after that. I loved it all.