Brightest Young Things
Dirk Diggler, the hero of Boogie Nights, would find the name “Reynolds Woodcock” too on the nose. You’ll recall Diggler rose from a busboy to a porn star, and his “Brock Landers” persona got him accolades in the adult film world. All these improbable names come from Paul Thomas Anderson, who started as a bravura, showy filmmaker, only to become more focused and mature. As a name and character, Reynolds Woodcock fits perfectly into Phantom Thread, since Anderson now prefers a slow-burn drama over a sprawling epic.