Fifth about The Seventh

The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog: Jane Campion’s drama is more interested in studying its characters than it is telling a story; there is nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but in this case, its studious nature results in an overly clinical, cold movie. The characters are interesting and wonderfully acted by the cast, in any case. Benedict Cumberbatch memorably creates a hateful character, a man who is intent on creating hurt around him, but that is nevertheless powerfully magnetic. Jesse Plemons can do no wrong as his gentle, decent brother, in a fine performance that nevertheless gets upstaged by his fellow cast members due to the nature of the character. Kirsten Dunst is pain and suffering personified. Kodi Smit-McPhee was perfectly cast, as his limby, wiry frame suits the awkwardness of the character, and he is able to convince with the emotional journey. Composer Jonny Greenwood’s original musical score is crucial to creating the uneasy mood the permeates the whole film. Cinematographer Ari Wegner elegantly captures the beautiful and empty landscape.


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