Why ‘The Power Of The Dog’ Could Sweep The Oscars 2022?

In the edition of FICM 2021, among the international premieres, was screened The Power of the Dog (The power of the dog) the Jane Campion. Since its passage through the Venice Film Festival, the Netflix film became the favorite for the 2022 awards season.

And we don’t say it on the air

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons as the Burbank brothers / Photo: Netflix


The return of Jane Campion

Whenever we talk about Jane Campion, we mention The Piano 1993 starring Holly Hunter. And it is no less. This film won the New Zealand director the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making her a the first woman to receive the highest award (Just in 2021, a woman won this award again).

At the Oscars the story is similar. Campion was the second woman to receive a nomination in the Best Director category. and although he did not take the statuette, he did go on stage for Best Screenplay (in a little while we will talk about that part).

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Jane Campion with her Oscar for Best Screenplay for ‘The Piano’ at the Academy Awards in 1994. / Photo: Getty Images

It will always be historical. But starting this year, let’s mention Campion for The Power of the Dog for several reasons. The first, and the most powerful, is that it marks his return after 12 years of “absence.” So it came back with the most powerful movie of the year that most likely give you multiple nominations for your leadership work, running as the favorite against the male competition.

Jane Campion manages to create an atmosphere of tension that forces the audience to draw endless conclusions and, in the end, surprise them with the least probable. It is spectacular between scenes, spaces, dialogues and of course, the performance of a cast that could also stand out.

The Power of the Dog

Benedict Cumberbatch en ‘The Power of the Dog’ / Foto: Netflix

The script

The Power of the Dog takes its name from the novel written by Thomas Savage that introduces us to Phil Burbank, a Montana cowboy who is the leading rancher in the area. He lives with his brother George, with whom he has a co-dependent relationship marked by psychological abuse by Phil.

The story begins when George decides (out of surprise) to marry Rose, a widow (her alcoholic husband took his own life) and a single mother in town whose son Peter is “effeminate.” So marrying her is a problem for Phil. When they move into the house, the protagonist begins to torment Rose to the degree that she begins an addiction to alcohol.

Jane Campion made the adaptation of the novel, so it could also be running for an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for The Power of the Dog. As we mentioned a while ago, Campion took the statuette for his work in the 90s thanks to The Piano. And it could repeat the award this 2022.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Perhaps the highlight of The Power of the Dog, sea the cast, which is led by Benedict Cumberbatch along with Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Since its premiere in Venice, everyone has agreed that it is Cumberbatch’s best work, so his nomination for Best Actor could be a fact.

Cumberbatch interpreta a Phil, a lonely cowboy who exercises different types of emotional and psychological violence among the people around him. First it is with his brother George, a quiet and passive guy who allows Phil to run the family business.

But the strongest part of the film is the one where Phil abuses Rose and Peter. The protagonist maintains an image of the macho-cowboy; but actually, it’s about a tormented man who rejects failure and seeks intimate contacts with people, especially those who usually hurt.

Benedict Cumberbatch triumphs in every way in The Power of the Dog when interpreting a character that in complexity, has been compared to Daniel Plainview of There Will Be Blood played in 2007 by Daniel Day-Lewis.

Kirsten Duns and the rest of the cast

The only official thing is that Netflix with The Power of the Dog He launched Kirsten Dunst’s campaign to join the race for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars. All thanks to her role as Rose, a widow and single mother who becomes an alcoholic from her abusive relationship with her brother-in-law Phil.

In the same way as with Cumberbatch, several specialized media have said that this is Dunst’s best character in recent years, so it is also one of the favorites not only to receive the nomination, but to take the statuette.

In the village, Rose bears the stigma of her husband’s suicide, but also with the rejection of the people towards her son, who usually makes paper flowers in honor of his mother (used to be a florist) and wants to become a doctor. That brings us to the other prominent character in the story: Peter, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The Power of the Dog

Kirsten Dunst es Rose en ‘The Power of the Dog’ / Foto: Netflix

Jonny Greenwood

Do you remember that we told you about a constant atmosphere of tension throughout the film? That was not only carried out by Campion in the script and the development of the characters, but in the music, which carries the guarantee stamp of Jonny Greenwood, member of Radiohead.

Greenwood worked on the score for The Power of the Dog, And so far, he has released a couple of songs that, while respecting the western, also play with different elements that add to the atmosphere of the film marked by violence that is not always visible.

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Jonny Greenwood con Radiohead / Foto: Getty Images

Since it was announced that Greenwood would make the music, high expectations were generated, especially for his outstanding work in There Will Be Blood in 2007, which was critically acclaimed. In recent years, in a fair and necessary way, Greenwood It has been most mentioned for its collaboration in the cinema. From his relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson, to what he has done with Lynne Ramsay.

The Power of the Dog It is not the only score that Jonny Greenwood worked on in 2021. It is also close to being released Licorice Pizza PTA starring Bradley Cooper. However, the guitarist could once again join the Oscars for his collaboration with Campion. HERE We leave you a list of other film projects in which Greenwood has worked.


Photography of The Power of the Dog it also plays an essential role in history and its development. This time, Jane Campion teamed up with Ari Wegner to deliver a series of open shots that help audiences understand the atmosphere, including that created by Phil among his workers, also enhancing the dynamic between the protagonist and Peter.

Wegner is known by the titles of Lady Macbeth, In Fabric and one of the most talked about films of 2020, Zola. So your step to The Power of the Dog with Campion, it is perhaps his biggest project yet and the one that could give him the chance to sneak into award season in the photography categories.

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