- Three incredible performances by Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps & Lesley Manville. Out of the three though the two standouts are Day-Lewis & Krieps. Krieps here is truly remarkable, just the fact that she holds her ground against the legend that is Daniel Day-Lewis is quite an accomplishment. I will say walking out of “Darkest Hour” I was pretty solidified that I had seen the best male performance of the year in Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill. But here I have to say Day-Lewis gives another masterclass performance to add to his large collection & gives Gary Oldman a run for his money. If Day-Lewis keeps his word and this is his final performance, he really goes out with a bang. As well as the title of the greatest actor to ever do it.
- Oscar level direction by Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson tells this fashion romance tale to perfection. Anderson directs this film with a very strong Hitchcockian feel, that works on every level.
- An Oscar level screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson. Anderson weaves together an impeccable story of masculinity & an artists obsession. That will stay in your head for days.
- One of, if not the, best score of the year by Jonny Greenwood. Greenwood immerses you into 1950s London, so much so that you’ll never want to leave.
- Very plush cinematography by Paul Thomas Anderson & the camera crew. Technically this film has no credited cinematographer, but in multiple interviews Anderson stated how the cinematography was done by himself & multiple members of the camera crew. So much props to them for bringing such a chic look to the film.
- As you can expect with a film that deals heavily in the fashion world, this film’s costume design is spectacular. High praise is much deserved to the costume designer, Mark Bridges.
- Stellar production design by Mark Tildesley. Tildesley’s production design, along with the fantastic score, immerse you fully to the 1950s.
- Last but certainly not least is the superb editing job by Dylan Tichenor. This film is edited with such subtly & smoothness. Yet at the same time it builds a strong sense of tension between the couple.