The Power of the Dog (2021)
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Visually more restrained than other movies in Jane Campion's filmography, The Power of the Dog deserves the treatment because it really is about repression. It looks like a macho western, but there's a lot bubbling under the surface, and sometimes ON the surface (Campion has never met a phallic symbol she didn't want to cast in this movie). Benedict Cumberbatch plays a misogynistic bully terrorizing his brother's wife (is there an Oedipus Complex equivalent for brothers?) and her wimpy son from another marriage, at least until he takes a shine to the boy. Or does he? And I swear, the third act had me wondering who was playing who. The sexual innuendo was really quite funny, but you couldn't really laugh because the scenes exuded menace. It's certainly a movie that's going out of its way to find the wrong audience, a non-action drama despite the cowboy dress, actually set a lot later than most, but then the leads aren't really what they seem, so it all fits. I think Campion is very psychological director and I respect her work immensely. It's rarely what you think it will be, and the better for it.
Amazing cinematography, amazing performances, solid narrative. I could see some people calling this movie slow, but I'd say it's worth the effort to stick with it. This might win a few Oscars. Cinematography has to be a shoo in.
Slow burning character developer as opposed to a story I'd say.
It felt like four different characters developed one by one, like an anthology/one short story after another. Inventive and aware it's based on a book.
Has an Of Mice and Men meets Brokeback Mountain quality.
Not sure about the score either. It's good but not great. 6/10
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #76 in BAFTA Award - Best Film
This movie ranks #137 in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #154 in Golden Globe Award - Best Motion Picture
This movie ranks #312 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #452 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #583 in Academy Award - Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #1398 in The Criterion Collection