The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog ★★★★½

I wanted my first Jane Campion film to be The Piano, but since The Power of the Dog has been making a lot of waves recently, I decided to check it out. I'm honestly really impressed by just how much skill everyone involved in this film was displaying, as every aspect of The Power of the Dog is great. Campion's direction feels so meticulous with its terrific, detailed cinematography and smooth editing, and her precision makes the film take its time with its pace without ever feeling like a slog. The Power of the Dog has a very uncomfortable and sinister atmosphere, and a lot of that can be attributed to Jonny Greenwood's amazing score, which reminded me of the score he made for There Will Be Blood. The film is so subtle with its explorations of ideas such as sexuality and masculinity, and despite the fact that those ideas didn't really reveal themselves until the beginning of the film's second half or so, I still thought that they were very well handled.

One of the very best aspects about The Power of the Dog would be the performances, and the four main actors are all great. Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, and Kodi Smit-McPhee all gave nuanced and interesting performances that strengthened the complexity of their characters, but the acting highlight for me has got to be Benedict Cumberbatch. He said so much about the character of Phil Burbank with almost every movement he made, and I don't think I can commend him enough for the performance that he gave here. Again, I wish that I could have seen this after knowing what Jane Campion's style was already like, but even then, I thought that The Power of the Dog was terrific.

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