Is the filmmaker working out his own issues through his infirm screen counterpart?
Maybe so, but don't look here for gossipy details about the director's 16-year relationship with actress-comedian Maya Rudolph, the mother of their four children. Day-Lewis traces the arc of his character from remote tyrant to willing slave with a majestic command – his immersion in the role, down to the pinpricks on Woodcock's fingers, is total.
Reserve introductions for when you feel the relationship has potential.
The film is gorgeous in every detail, with costumes by Mark Bridges and production design by Mark Tildesley that dazzle the senses.
But the overriding theme is the agony and euphoria of creation.
Not to mention that this film takes you places those earlier movies wouldn't think of going.
Our man in London is a top designer, one who compartmentalizes his life so personal distractions can't penetrate the bubble he builds around his art.
Anderson has noted influences, including Hitchcock's Rebecca and Vertigo.
But aside from being about how we need love no matter how it fucks us up, those film influences are a slight misdirection.
When you find someone you like, have a light introduction – perhaps a quick dinner and a movie or sporting event – just to make sure you feel they interact well and to help your kids feel they are in the loop.
After that, you can continue to have some limited, pleasant times together, but they should be few and far between so that your kids aren’t forming any attachments.
The young woman jumps into his bed but seems unprepared to spur his creativity.
Their romance is totally lacking in an erotic charge until Woodcock sews a dress on Alma's body ... (OK, maybe there's a lot of Vertigo in that notion.) Then he moves on.
Be cautious not to be overly excited about dating because your teens are about to get to that stage, and you want to preserve the excitement and healthy conversations about dating for them.