The Power of the Dog

2021
128min
Feature
The Power of the Dog poster
Synopsis: 

Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides. 

The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, revelling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.

As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play.  His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?

Status: 
Complete, New Release
Genre: 
Drama
Sales Agent: 
Cross City Sales
New Zealand distributor: 
Transmission Films
Co-Production: 
New Zealand/Australia

Credits:

Directed by: 
Screenplay by: 
Cast: 
Crew: 
Production Design
Costume Design
Festival/Awards: 
2021: Venice Film Festival Silver Lion Award for Best Director - Jane Campion, Toronto International Film Festival TIFF People’s Choice Award - 2nd Runner-up, TIFF Tribute Actor Award - Benedict Cumberbatch, TIFF Variety Artisan Award - Cinematographer Ari Wegner, Telluride Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival – Opening Night Film, Zurich Film Festival – Gala Premiere, Mill Valley Film Festival – Mind the Gap Award: Jane Campion, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival – Headline Gala, Montclair Film Festival – Closing Night Film, Whistler Film Festival – Special Presentation, Hawaii International Film Festival, Leeds International Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival