The Power of Unlikely Animals
Updated: May 23, 2022
If you have two hours available for some serious viewing, I highly recommend Jane Campion’s new masterpiece, “Power of the Dog.” While it is not fun, it is greatly rewarding. The characters who are bullied and seemed doomed to be victims ultimately get theirs. If “Promising Young Woman” is art about trauma and power in poison bubblegum lip gloss, then “Power of the Dog” is art about trauma and power in ill fitting jeans and an oversized cowboy hat. The seemingly awkward and the seemingly weak have hidden resources which they use to their advantage. While it is a sober film, its emotional depth and resonance make watching it worthwhile, the only beauty being the setting (this particular Montana was filmed in New Zealand) and the paper flowers crafted by the teenage boy played by Kodi Smit-McPhee which Phil, the brother played by Benedict Cumberbatch, uses to light his cigarettes. The film is a quiet and astonishing revelation.