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The Power of the Dog is a Brutal Psychodrama | Movie Review

The Power of the Dog follow cattle ranching brothers Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons in 1925 Montana, as Plemons marries Kirsten Dunst and brings her and her son to live on the ranch. A true auteur, Jane Campion teases out the ensuing psychological warfare with the most intriguing kind of slow play coolness, resulting in an often brutal drama.

Based on the novel by Thomas Savage, Campion’s version leans less on the story’s romance and more into the fragile masculinity and disdain of a remarkable Benedict Cumberbatch performance. Shot in New Zealand, it’s a gorgeous film as well, utilizing magic hour cinematography and the natural beauty of the director’s home country as a backdrop for some truly ugly human behavior. The wardrobe in the period film is excellent as well, reinforcing the myth and folklore quality of the time.

The Power of the Dog was reviewed by Hanna Flint and edited by Patrick Coughlin. It’s in theaters November 17 with a Netflix release date of December 1.

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