Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst Star in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog”

Posted on November 04, 2021


Starting with the proviso that one shouldn’t place too much weight on a well-cut trailer…








We think we can see why this film got so much awards buzz coming out of the festivals. That looks intense as hell.


Synopsis: Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.
The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.
As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?

Written and Directed: Jane Campion (Academy Award® Winner)
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll, Adam Beach
Producers: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Roger Frappier, Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian
Director of Photography: Ari Wegner
Production Designer: Grant Major
Costume Designer: Kirsty Cameron
Composer: Jonny Greenwood
Editor: Peter Scibberas

Film Release Date: In Select Theaters on November 17 and on Netflix December 1



It also looks quite beautiful. We weren’t sure we could buy Cumberbatch as a rough American cowboy, but there’s something really appealing about the counterintuitive casting. Here’s hoping Kiki gets the kind of awards recognition she’s long deserved.







[Photo Credit: Netflix – Video Credit: Netflix/YouTube]

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