“Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.”

Director: Jane Campion
Writers: Jane Campion, Thomas Savage
Staring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie
Where To Watch: Netflix
Release Date: December 1, 2021

The inspiration for me to rewatch the The Power Of The Dog trailer is my possible dedication to the career of Thomasin McKenzie following her performance in Last Night In Soho (2021) (a review for that is coming). I have heard of Power Of The Dog on many movie podcasts I listen too and it seems clear that the movie’s release in December is going to be accompanied by award consideration and praise. Netflix is going for another Roma (2018). It is going to try and make that Oscar splash again.

The Power Of The Dog has already earned awards and accolades from the BFI London Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, New York Film Festival and Tulluride. The Power Of The Dog is riding a wave of critical momentum that has been unmatched in the quick turn toward awards season.

Looking at this trailer, here are just a couple of notes I want to point out.

Around the 16 second mark we get two cows butting heads after Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Burbank (Jesse Plemons) reunite for the first time in a long time. Safe to say these two don’t necessarily get along and they will be butting heads on some topics over the course of the movie.

George married Rose Gordon (Kirsten Dunst) and they have a son. They are thrust into the world of Phil’s ideal life of simplicity. Based off the look Phil has upon learning this information, he is not a huge fan. The vibes I get is that Rose is someone of a higher ilk that George and therefore he has married up into a tier of society Phil does not particularly like.

Side note, before continuing onward with this The Power Of The Dog trailer, this is the first movie that Dunst has been in since Woodshock (2017), which was a failed A24 movie that is rated only 4.3 on IMDB.

Back to the preview. As the trailer progresses, we really get the sense that Phil Burbank is an asshole. He looks down upon Rose and more habitually seems to be taunting and teasing her son, Peter, who is played by Kodi Smith-McPhee.

The trailer is tense. It is filled with ominous looks and tenuous relationships. Based off this trailer there is not a lot of redemption or salvation for the character of Phil Burbank. The one thing that is certain is that The Power Of The Dog is going to look stunning. Director Jane Campion won an Oscar in 1994 for her screenplay of The Piano (1993) and she was nominated for Best Director as well.

I wonder if The Power Of The Dog is going to have the same prettiness that News Of The World (2020) had but more heft with a cast of great performances? That may be its path.

The Power Of The Dog releases on Netflix on Wednesday, December 1st.


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