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Home / Hollywood / Weekend Binge: Before he retired, Daniel Day-Lewis was the world’s finest working actor, here are his top 3 films

Weekend Binge: Before he retired, Daniel Day-Lewis was the world’s finest working actor, here are his top 3 films

Daniel Day-Lewis’ retirement, while unexpected, isn’t entirely surprising. But before Phantom Thread, his final film, he’d starred in several classics. Here are three.

hollywood Updated: Feb 03, 2018 10:14 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
Daniel Day-Lewis’ career is one for the ages.
Daniel Day-Lewis’ career is one for the ages.

Every week, we will curate a collection of titles - movies, TV, general miscellanea - for you to watch (and in some cases, read, or listen to), in a series we call Weekend Binge. The selection will be based on a theme which binds the picks - which could be extremely blunt in certain instances, or confusingly abstract in some. No rules apply, other than the end goal being getting some great entertainment to watch.

While the idea is to base the theme on the week’s major events - it could be the release of a new movie, or show - we could also use this opportunity to comment on our world in general, and turn to art to wrap our heads around some of the more difficult stories of the past seven days.


Daniel Day-Lewis’ retirement, while unexpected, isn’t entirely surprising. For an actor who would do one film every five years, you have to wonder what makes him take on a new project, and more pertinently, what makes him turn them down.

Phantom Thread is reportedly his final film - and in typical Day-Lewis fashion, it isn’t what you’d expect. It’s a strange love story about two people realising that they’re both extremely odd, yet perfect for each other. And Day-Lewis’ performance is unusually understated. Whether or not it will find a place among his best films is a something only time will tell, but now would be as good a time as any to (re)watch some of them.

Here are the three essential (not best) Daniel Day-Lewis films every movie fan must watch. He is one of the greatest male actors to ever perform on screen, and his is a filmography to die for.

There Will Be Blood


Without doubt Daniel Day-Lewis’ finest hour. From the silent opening 20 minutes to the squinty-eyed, shifty speeches he delivers in the middle - speeches about greed and family and legacy and oil - to that remarkable ending, There Will Be Blood is one of the greatest films of all time, directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and starring our man, Mr Daniel Day Lewis. He’ll drink your milkshake. He’ll drink it up!

In the Name of the Father


Along with Gangs of New York (which you should definitely see) and Nine (his least respected film, but worth a shot), In the Name of the Father is perhaps Daniel Day-Lewis’ most accessible movie. It’s about a Northern Irish youth falsely imprisoned for a bomb blast during the turbulent days of the IRA. It’s perhaps the greatest prison movie after The Shawshank Redemption, and features a fantastic supporting performance by Pete Postlethwaite, who plays Day-Lewis’ character’s father, who is also arrested and put in the same prison. In the Name of the Father is, as the title might suggest, a story about wars both internal and external, it’s about finding freedom in the most confined spaces, and finding family where there is none.

My Left Foot


On paper, My Left Foot has all the makings of Oscar bait. Daniel Day-Lewis played an Irishman with cerebral palsy who could only move one part of his body: his left foot. It’s the story of how Christy Brown, a man who could not walk or talk, found that he could express himself through painting. So he used the only moving body part he had and became a painter. But unlike most Oscar bait films - you know the ones, they probably star Cate Blanchett - My Left Foot has a tenderness to it, an earnestness that Day-Lewis revisited in his second film with director Jim Sheridan, The Boxer.

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