Before a New York City crowd that was incorporated with critics, guild voters, and AMPAS members, Focus Features’ “Phantom Thread” was unveiled to the world with its writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville in attendance for a Q&A.  Hotly anticipated as a possible last-minute spoiler on the awards season, all eyes were on the 1960’s period piece to shake up the landscape.

Paul Thomas Anderson, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville, and Daniel Day-Lewis

With Focus Features’ instituting a heavy embargo, asking all attendees to hold “social media sentiment” and reviews until Thursday, Dec. 7.  Honoring the request by the studio, we’re looking to its chances at Oscar glory.

With news that three-time Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis would be retiring from acting, this could very well be the final time we see the thespian on the big screen, and it’s quite saddening.  Day-Lewis, who won Oscars for “My Left Foot,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “Lincoln,” has been an intangible force for the craft.  Working with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Jim Sheridan, this lands in the classic case of “you don’t know what you got til’ it’s gone.”

With pundits and awards obsessives anointing Gary Oldman the Best Actor statue for his role as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” Day-Lewis has now landed as a possible spoiler, perhaps joining the likes of Katharine Hepburn as a four-time Oscar-winner.  Coincidentally, Meryl Streep will also be looking for the same honor this year with her role in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” also under a heavy embargo.  If Day-Lewis were to win the coveted award, he would mirror the exact wins of Hepburn, winning all his awards in Lead.  As of this writing, he’s the only man to win three lead prizes as Jack Nicholson’s wins are mixed between Lead and Supporting.

He won’t be the only one looking for love on the circuit from the film.  The costumes by Oscar-winner Mark Bridges (“The Artist”) are just the type of garments Oscar loves while composer Jonny Greenwood may have finally found his vehicle after countless snubs including “There Will Be Blood” and “The Master.”

A compelling case to watch will be for co-stars Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville.  In the case of the former, she’ll contend in one of the most competitive Lead Actress races in recent memory.  With the latter, she’s had an impressive career that has yielded her awards buzz before.

During the 2011 awards season, in what can only be described as category confusion, she was profoundly in the hunt for an Oscar nomination for Mike Leigh’s “Another Year,” for which she won the National Board of Review prize for Best Actress.  In the end, with many citations in both lead and supporting, Oscar couldn’t make up their mind, ultimately leaving her nomination-less.  In a mysterious Supporting Actress race, Manville might be able to muster her own support, possibly even contending against frontrunners Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”).  It’s something that the actor’s branch can swell around, especially if Day-Lewis is getting a ton of votes.

Paul Thomas AndersonLooking at writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, he will surely have admirers in two separate branches.  On the writing side, he’s already garnered four nominations in the six films that he’s written, only missing for “Hard Eight” and “Punch-Drunk Love.”  It’s hard to bet against him, but in a historic year for the Original Screenplay category on the horizon, we’ll see what support he can gain along the way.  The director’s branch may feel compelled by the film and what it offers.  It weirdly feels like something that can pop up as the “lone director” selection of the year as past nominees like Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”) has been able to achieve in an expanded lineup.

The Oscar Predictions have been updated, and the sidebar predictions reflect those changes.

You can chime in with your predictions in the comments below!

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MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |