The Power of the Dog (R) ★★★ 1/2 H360 Podcast

“The Power of the Dog” rated R is director Jane Campion’s western based in Montana, and you won’t see a tail wagging dog in the film. What you will see are character studies of two brothers (opposite in personalities), Benedick Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons, a new wife Kristen Dunst and her son, a sensitive male college student, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Here’s gorgeous cinematography set against the backdrop of a 1925 Montana Ranch.

The Power of the Dog is based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel. It tells the story set in the 1920s of a Montana ranch and two brothers different as night and day. Case in point, one baths, the other doesn’t. George, the bather, is neat and polite. He wears his Sunday-best suits and ties as he oversees his ranching duties. Phil is rebellious, crude in manners, and dresses as if he’s been on a cattle herding job for months. Oddly, the brothers share a room in the large ranch house and sleep together most nights. When George falls in love and marries Rose (Kirsten Dunst), the widowed owner of a tiny run-down hotel, Phil’s jealousy consumes their relationship.

If you’re in the mood for a slower pace, with themes of reflection, frustration, dependency, loneliness, and anger, this film is for you.

This is Jane Campion’s first film in 12 years. She’s known for her Award-winning Academy film, “The Piano.” It was great to see her in person at a press conference and to hear all of the cast and filmmakers dive deep into the film’s themes.


Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank
Jesse Plemons as George Burbank
Kirsten Dunst as Rose Gordon
Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter Gordon
Thomasin McKenzie as Lola

Run Time: 2 hours 7 minutes

Studio: Netflix

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Sarah Knight Adamson© November 21, 2021