“The Power of the Dog” has been the talk of Tinseltown ever since it debuted last fall, but to the masses it may still be something of an enigma. It’s the first film from Oscar-winning “The Piano” and “Bright Star” filmmaker Jane Campion in over a decade, and boasts Oscar-nominated performances from the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
With the film poised to be a major presence at Sundays Oscars, you may be wondering what it’s about and where to watch it. All your questions answered below.
Where Is “The Power of the Dog” Streaming?
“The Power of the Dog” is streaming exclusively on Netflix, and is a Netflix original film.
What Is “The Power of the Dog” About?
Based on the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name, “The Power of the Dog” takes place in 1925 Montana and opens as the story of two brothers. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the domineering Phil, while Jesse Plemons plays the more reserved George. The two wealthy men own a bustling ranch, but while Phil is content with their ruggedly quiet lives, George is lonely.
When George marries a woman named Rose (Kirsten Dunst) from a nearby town and brings her and her teenage son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) to live with them on the ranch, George is aggressive and men to the newcomers. As the drama unfolds, secrets are revealed that lay bare a story of toxic masculinity set against the American West.
When Themes Are Explored in “The Power of the Dog?”
While the film works well as a straight character drama, Campion uses “The Power of the Dog” to unfurl a story about masculinity – specifically the expectations laid on men, and how the repression of certain qualities (like one’s homosexuality) can have tremendously damaging consequences.
So on the one hand, “The Power of the Dog” is a family drama. But on the other, it’s a story about resentment and the consequences of burying one’s true feelings.