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The Power of the Dog (2021)

Director:
Jane Campion

COUNTRY
New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Canada

Genre
Western/Drama

NORWEGIAN TITLE
The Power of the Dog

RUNNING TIME
126 minutes

Producer:
Emilie Sherman
Iain Channing
Roger Frappier
Jane Campion
Tanya Seghatchian

Screenwriter (based on the novel by Thomas Savage):
Jane Campion


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Phil Burbank Benedict Cumberbatch

Rose Gordon

Kirsten Dunst
George Burbank

Jesse Plemons

Peter Gordon Kodi Smit-McPhee
Lola Thomasin McKenzie
Mrs. Lewis Genevieve Lemon -
Governor Edward Keith Carradine -
Mrs. Burbank Frances Conroy -
Mr. Burbank Peter Carroll -

 

Review

Jane Campion's thematic follow-up to Piano is a slow, introspective mood piece about family ties, personal secrets and suppressed sexuality set in 1920s rural Montana. The film is atmospheric in Campion's simmering, understated fashion, but it oversells its message and emotional context. We're under the skins of the characters before Campion lets them get there themselves, which contributes to making their lethargic soul-searching pretentious and perfunctory. Some of Campion's artistic touches, such as the infinite equine/human juxtapositions, are excessive at best and outright cringeworthy at worst. And the climax of the story, although technically well structured, is so literary and grandiose in scope that Kodi Smit-McPhee's anachronistic character cannot carry it. Attractive, diachronic production values and a beautiful score by Jonny Greenwood are two of a handful redeeming qualities.

Copyright 20.12.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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