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The Power of the Dog (2021)

A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother's new wife and her teen son, until long-hidden secrets come to light.
3.0 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
3.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE
Representation
LGBTQ

Incluvie Movie Reviews


Josh Halpern
April 5, 2022
3 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
3.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

A Homosexual Cowboy is Still a Cowboy

Power of the Dog is a Western.  There are cowboys, Natives, and a beautiful backdrop of dry land and shadowy mountains.  These shadows may or may not resemble a barking dog. For Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), life is divine.  His brother George (Jesse Plemons) however seeks more out of life.  He meets Rose (Kirsten Dunst), a widow who runs a small inn with her son Peter(Kodi Smit-McPhee).  George marries Rose and invites her and her son to live with him and Phil.  Phil does not like this.  He’s suspicious of Rose and her ‘Miss Nancy’ son Peter.  Phil and his crew hurl insults at the boy and the ‘perddy’ flowers he makes, and a pretty clear ever-timeless toxic masculinity fills the setting not unlike the stench of rotting cow carcasses.   We learn more about Phil.  He refuses to join a party gathering hosted by George because it would require bathing.  ‘I stink and I like it’ he says in protest to his ‘fatso’ brother.  We see Phil venture into the woods where he covers himself in mud and bathes naked in a stream.   It is here in Phil’s sanctuary where Peter inadvertently finds Phil while also stumbling upon a box of old magazines with pictures of scantily clad men.  Is Phil’s rugged demeanor an act?  Is he hiding more of himself than he lets on?   Phil’s relationship with the boy improves.  He takes young Peter under his tutelage while Rose looks on in fear.  The score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides an unsettling atmosphere.  Much like Greenwood’s previous work in There Will Be Blood, some unspoken danger surrounds these characters.  But Phil and Peter’s relationship is actually quite innocent and non-sexual.   Yet Sam Elliot, a renowned actor known for roles in Westerns such as Tombstone
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Movie Information


A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother's new wife and her teen son, until long-hidden secrets come to light.

Rating:
Genre:Drama, Western
Directed By:Jane Campion
Written By:Jane Campion
In Theaters:12/1/2021
Box Office:

Runtime:128 minutes
Studio:BBC Films, New Zealand Film Commission, See-Saw Films, Max Films, Cross City Films, Bad Girl Creek

Cast