One of the best movies I’ve seen this year is the writer and director Jane Campion’s The power of the dog. Loaded with great performances (especially Benedict Cumberbatch), a surprising score by Jonny Greenwood, the beautiful cinematography of Ari Wegner, and excellently directed by Campion, I can’t recommend this movie enough – especially if you like slow-motion stories.
If you are not familiar with The power of the dog, it is based on the hit 1967 novel by Thomas Savage, and takes place on a cattle ranch in Montana in 1925. The film follows Phil and George (Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons), two wealthy Montana ranchers whose brotherly relationship is tested when George marries widowed Rose (Kirsten Dunst). Rose and her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) moves in with the brothers, and while George and Rose are happily together, Phil begins to agonize over Rose’s feelings, driving her out drinking and causing problems in the house. At the same time, Phil is very nice and supportive of Rose’s son, encouraging him to ride horses and overcome rough terrain, leading to further emotional tension with Rose and problems in the house. The power of the dog also the stars Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll, and Adam’s Beach.
Although it may seem like something you’ve seen before, it’s not. Much of this movie is going hot under the surface, and Campion’s has created something really special with her latest film.
Immediately after seeing the film, I spoke with Benedict Cumberbatch. He talks about how the movie doesn’t tell you what to think, the slow-motion nature of it and how it rewards repeat views, how Campion gave him the freedom to be Phil in between shots, read the script like the first time, how the movie is about toxic masculinity, etc.
See what he has to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about then the official recap. The power of the dog currently streaming on Netflix.
Has he seen it yet? the video where someone takes his whistle in the trailer and makes it lead Jurassic Park With him reacting to dinosaurs?
How did the movie with a limited screen time feel like reading the script for the first time?
About how it writes slowly and it rewards playback.
The way the movie talks about toxic masculinity and doesn’t tell you what to think.
How difficult was it to leave the character on set, especially when he was fully committed to the role?
How Jane Campion gave him the freedom to be Phil on set when he was so different from his personality.
Here is the official summary:
Serious, pale-eyed, handsome Phil Burbank is brutally charming. All of Phil’s romance, power, and fragility are trapped in the past and on land: He can castrate a bull with two swift strokes of his knife; he swam naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He was a cowboy like his hide in 1925. The Burbank brothers were wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on the way to the market, the two brothers meet Rose, the widowed owner, and her lovely son Peter. except for his brother George, who comforted Rose then went back to marrying her. As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his mocking of Rose turns eerie – he hovers at the edge of her field of vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheers of Phil’s high-handed disciples. Then Phil appeared to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that exposes Phil, or a plot that delves deeper into intimidation?
The 1925 TV series saw Cumberbatch play an evil rancher.
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https://collider.com/benedict-cumberbatch-power-of-the-dog-interview/ Benedict Cumberbatch on Power of the Dog and How Movie Rewards Repeat Watching