If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion) [Netflix]

  • 27-08-2021 10:04am
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,207 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    The latest from Jane Campion, further bulking out Netflix's admittedly impressive stable of auteurs and creatives. Say what you will about the Western, it always makes for movies with breathtaking, epic scenery. Arrives December 1.

    Post edited by pixelburp on


  • Registered Users Posts: 83,686 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    This is getting major kudos at film festival and Oscar buzz for Jesse Plemons, his missus Kristen Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch 

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,298 ✭✭✭Homelander

    Cannot wait for this. Looks excellent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,518 ✭✭✭Mr Crispy

    Have caught up with some of the reviews from the festival screenings and they're incredibly positive.

    Can't wait for this one!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,207 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Another trailer was released, giving a slightly larger sense of the story here;

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    That seems a lot more raw and ominous than I remember from the first trailer!

  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    Impressive slow-burn of a film. There’s a lot unsaid here: much of the building anger, cruelty and sadness communicated through the subtleties of the performances. Despite the beautiful if desolate New Zealand landscapes, the film does feel rather claustrophobic - in particular, it feels like Dunst’s character is trapped in this place, quietly tormented by her cruel, frustrated brother-in-law (Cumberbatch).

    But the focus of the film carefully changes throughout the film, letting us spend time with each of the characters to get a peak at what’s motivating them. The film really shifts to focus on Cumberbatch and Smit-McPhee’s characters and their increasingly complicated relationship. There’s a strong sense of Campion really toying around with the gender / power dynamics and amping up the sexuality of these characters. And yet there’s no sex on screen and very little violence - it’s all restrained and understated.

    Maybe a bit too restrained in some regards? If I had one complaint it’s all rather neat and tidy - Campion’s so absolutely in control of the material that it lacks a sense of spontaneity and provocation. Claire Denis, for example, has covered similar ground in films like Beau Travail but in a bolder way.

    Still, a film being maybe too expertly crafted is a good complaint to have: this was a totally compelling watch despite its relative lack of ‘action’, propelled in no small part by casually brilliant cinematography, Jonny Greenwood once again doing his incredible thing, and a cast that makes it look too easy (particularly glad to see Dunst getting material this strong - her inner turmoil communicated devastatingly in very few words). It’s been an incredible year for film, and if this isn’t quite among the very best of the year for me, it’s only because the competition is so remarkable. Better just to be safe and make it a triple bill of Drive My Car, Petite Maman and this (and incredible accidental triptych of new releases today) this week and make up your own mind ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 114 ✭✭AMTE_21

    Saw this yesterday and enjoyed it. I thought it could have maybe 20 minutes shaved off it. Acting and cinematography is excellent. Why didn’t they just set it in New Zealand, couldn’t see it as Montana after reading it was made in New Zealand. Enjoyed the subtlety of the relationship between the son and Benedict Cumberbatch’s character and what was never said, but implied.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    he hit all the buzzwords there, call me a cynic but Hollywood still has plenty of housekeeping to do before they lecture anybody on anything

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,735 ✭✭✭FortuneChip

    He pulls a bit of a "pengwin" on the word inadequacies here 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    i missed that, didnt know about the penwings, I got a laugh out of that!

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

  • Advertisement
  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Give a short soundbite - no need to waffle on and on for extra "I'm one of good guys" signalling effect (yes even in a 1 minute clip he has managed to waffle)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,990 ✭✭✭Shelga

    I watched this last night- I don't know how to do spoilers on this blasted new site so I'll keep it shorter than I otherwise would have. It's a very slow moving film, I think if you know that going in, you are more likely to enjoy it. When I immediately finished it I wasn't sure I "enjoyed" it as such, but upon reflection and un-jumbling up the ending in my head, it's very, very well done and definitely doesn't spell out everything for you. It's interesting how it subverts expectations throughout- from who or what makes a villain to what is motivating each of the characters, and it isn't what you'd expect.

    Even the throwaway line about how Phil was an alumnus of Yale makes you realise the immediate unconscious bias you have towards these characters. Although I think it's fair to say that he is an atypical Yale classics graduate!

    But I can't say I loved it, because it's just too chilly and cold a film for me to love. I thought Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch were the standouts- Jesse Plemons is barely in the second half.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭pavb2

    found the spoiler tag I thought there was far too much information and characters that were irrelevant and didn't advance the story such as the governor and his wife and the parents. Rose’s husband hanging himself was unnecessary we only needed to know that he told his boy to look after Rose.

    The plot threads lacked credibility Phil was rude and obnoxious but it was a big leap for Rose to turn into an alcoholic because of his behaviour as he didn’t seem to do anything cruel to her unless it was his banjo playing.

    The aura of Bronco Henry how he was revered and Phil’s obsession was almost comical.

    The setting was good but really it was the final denouement that rescued the film.

    Post edited by pavb2 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭mary 2021

    it fits well into Jane Campions crusade against men. Personally i like men to be men and if they all turn into girls it will be very boring. Of course there are always a few bad apples but weak effeminate men are not any more attractive than masculine men. The movie was just ok i liked cumberbatches bum & physique in the swimming scene, very nice !! Leave men alone FFS they are not all bad & stop making them into cissies !! The film was slow and drawn out very little happened, Benedict bullied everyone and was an arse and he go this comuppence in the end in a very good twist !!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,207 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,135 ✭✭✭✭Beechwoodspark

    Watched it earlier

    overall I felt the movie was a missed opportunity.

    the script could’ve gone to more interesting places

    As others say, there were elaborate scenes and sub plots that ended up being arguably irrelevant.

    Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst were underused especially in the second half of the film

    Cumberbatch was good but not amazing - I found him not believable in some scenes.

    one of the film podcasts said it was almost like BC TRYING to do a Daniel day Lewis esque performance but not quite getting there

    In saying that, the character was scripted in a very one dimensional way “mr angry” and mean.

    Kodi Smit McPhee was excellent in it.

    Not just his acting but his whole look - He seemed almost alien like in that world. Great screen presence

    Post edited by Beechwoodspark on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,298 ✭✭✭Homelander

    I thought it was excellent, very well put together and great performances. I really can't say I at all agree that it's any kind of a crusade against men; obviously, the film is just as much about Cumberbatchs own struggles with love, loss, grief, acceptance etc as it is about Dunst's torment, rather than just being surface level "mean man is mean to woman".

    That he's simply a, or 'the', villian who gets his comeuppance in a sense is a very off take to me. Anyway, I really thought it was very good. I'd say an 8/10.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,324 ✭✭✭MfMan

    Reasonable enough I thought, with earlier clues nicely pointing to the neat denouement. Bit too slow in pacing and the division into defined chapters was unnecessary. (Keith Carradine's character underwritten - did he have to go all the way to NZ just to film that?) Dialogue is a bit clunky and 'expositiony' in parts - e.g. "25 years ago in 1900 we did our first round-up with Bronco Henry". No great fan of BC's as his performances usually aren't a hymn to subtlety. Kind of film that usually gets shown at 11.20pm on BBC2 or C4.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Reasonable but not a "brilliant" film or anything of that nature.

    Clunky multiple name-dropping / signposting of that "Cattle-thing" so you knew that it was going to be significant as it stuck out like a sore thumb as there would be no other reason to reference it otherwise.

    As a result I didn't consider the denouement to be "a twist".

    The whole shebang was shot on location in NZ even though the plot setting was "Big Sky Country" - Campion flexing her influence there.

    6.2 / 10

  • Registered Users Posts: 877 ✭✭✭fatbhoy

    I agree. I thought it was a richly nuanced masterpiece. I loved it. 9/10

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 6,126 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    Hmmm, watched this movie last night.

    Was ok. Don't recommend it to anyone who's feeling anxious !

    What's the story with Jane Campion and Pianos ?


    How come Kirstein Dunst is always crying for Peter ?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Sam Elliot is not impressed

    Elliott told Maron that he was offended by a film review describing The Power of the Dog an “evisceration of the American myth.”

    “I thought, ‘What the fXck? What the fXck?’ This is the guy that’s done westerns forever,” he said, comparing The Power of the Dog‘s cowboys to Chippendales dancers “who wear bowties and not much else.”

    Elliott continued: “[The cowboys in the film are] all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fXcking movie.”

    “I think that’s what the movie’s about,” Maron said of The Power of the Dog, which suggests that domineering rancher Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a closeted gay man.

    Although Elliott noted that he “loves” Campion’s previous work, he questioned how equipped she was to tell this particular story as a native New Zealander.

    “What the fXck does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American west?” he said. “And why in the fXck does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it is.’ That fXcking rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

    Just like that other New Zealander, Peter Jackson, made a film about hobbits in New Zealand.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,207 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Completely forgot about this til I saw the Oscar buzz, then Sam Elliot's weird rant. I can see why it might have alienated and turned people off, especially those expecting a western, even a deconstructionist one. This was not Unforgiven. More a tightly wound clock that ticked slowly - sometimes too slowly - but with haunting and beautiful precision towards its surprising conclusion. Its cast uniformly cold and terrible people, all in their own oblivious way but each magnetic to varying degrees. Not sure the story itself had anything unique or transformative to say but the slow, almost lugubrious aesthetics surrounding it was was reward in of itself.

    Can't say I "enjoyed" it in a superficial way, but definitely felt its, uh, power.

  • Registered Users Posts: 434 ✭✭tooka

    I thought this was very very boring and I am not even sure what the point of the movie was.

    also the banjo stuff was laughable

    there is a story to be told about how brutal the American story is, this film is just nonsense

  • Registered Users Posts: 149 ✭✭jeremyr62

    I thought it was barely OK. If this wins Oscars then it just confirms how moribund film making is at the moment.

    I liked Drive my Car but I hear that is also Oscar worthy. I would have thought most people would find it way too long and slow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,755 ✭✭✭Dakota Dan

    It’s watchable but lacking action like most westerns nowadays, there’s a decent film on sky cinema called old Henry with Tim Blake Nelson in the leading role.

  • Registered Users Posts: 434 ✭✭tooka

    Thanks will check it out

    its not the lack of action that is my issue, it’s just when a movie is slow paced the story and the script must be brilliant to make up for it

    this is not that movie