Job by Alexis Lebrun September 16, 2021
Unfortunately retired from the sets for a few years, the only three-time Oscar winner for best actor can legitimately be considered one of the best actors in the world. CINÉ + pays tribute to his incredible career, with the screening of no less than three great films where we can (re) revel in the talent and the famous mustache of Daniel Day-Lewis.
The revelation of an extraordinary talent
In the early 1980s, Daniel Day-Lewis was still only a relatively anonymous actor. But in 1985, the world of cinema witnessed a revelation. His portrayal of a marginal young English gay who has a crush on a Pakistani immigrant (Gordon Warnecke) goes a long way in making MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE (Stephen Frears) a classic of British cinema. The Daniel Days-Lewis machine is launched, because the same year, the actor known to follow the precepts of the Actors Studio method is noticed in a radically different supporting role but where the extent of his palette also strengthens ‘admiration. This role is that of Cecil Vyse, the aristocratic and pretentious snobbish of the period film BEDROOM WITH A VIEW (James Ivory), directed by the one who will become a specialist in the adaptations of the British novelist Edward Morgan Forster.
BEDROOM WITH A VIEW sets its plot in the shackles of the Edwardian era: the character played by Daniel Day-Lewis must marry Lucy (Helena Bonham Carter) a young woman in love with another much more funky man, played by Julian Sands . In addition to these three, we must also count on the brilliant Maggie Smith, who plays the role of the stuck chaperone better than anyone. But with his small round glasses, his boater and his accent of British high society, Daniel Day-Lewis supremely embodies the boredom and even the disgust that inspires this hypocritical caste which is curbing the fate of young women. And yet, in 1985, we had yet to see anything of the talent of an actor who would prove to be outrageously selective in the choice of his roles, while managing to shoot with some of the greatest directors of his time.
The perfect embodiment of American founding myths
After a decade of 1990 marked in particular his first Oscar for best actor for MY LEFT FOOT (Jim Sheridan, 1990) and his epic preparation for the lead role of THE LAST MOHICANS (Michael Mann, 1992), Daniel Day-Lewis took his first retired at the end of the decade to become a shoemaker. And when he made his comeback in the early 2000s, it was not to string pearls, since he found Martin Scorsese in the dantesque GANGS OF NEW YORK (2002). He plays the very creepy Bill the Butcher, opponent of the young character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in mid-19th century New York where Catholic and Protestant gangs wage street fights in pitched battles of incredible violence. Daniel Day-Lewis has a wiggly mustache, menacing eyes and eyebrows, and he wields a knife and machete so well that he still has nightmares of him at night, nearly twenty years later.
Five years later, it is still a monster of American cinema who calls on him to give life to another founding myth of the American nation, that of the pioneers of the conquest of the West and of the gold rush. black. THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) is one of the best films of the decade. Daniel Day-Lewis is astounding in its savagery, and it is very logical that he was rewarded with a second statuette for best actor. And if the Oscar for best film escapes THERE WILL BE BLOOD, it’s only because another mind-blowing feature film was released that same year, the Coen brothers’ NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. As for Daniel Day-Lewis, he won a third Oscar in 2013 for Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN (2012), before retiring five years later in a final masterpiece still signed Paul Thomas Anderson: PHANTOM THREAD. It only remains to hope that the actor comes out of retirement a second time, because the cinema can not decently deprive itself of such talent.