The first teaser for the highly anticipated Benedict Cumberbatch‘s upcoming film on Netflix has been revealed. The Power of the Dog is written and directed by Jane Campion and it will take place in 1925. The film stars Cumberbatch as a wealthy Montana rancher who comes across a widow (Kirsten Dunst) and her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and behaves so cruelly with them that he drives them both to tears, and on the opposite side, Cumberbatch’s brother in the film played by Jesse Plemons takes pity on the woman and decides to marry her.
The trailer doesn’t reveal much about the plot, it just sets the mood and the trailer did its job correctly. The Power of the Dog is Campion’s second feature film after 2009’s Bright Star, and in between she wrote and directed two acclaimed miniseries and those are Top of the Lake and Top of the Lake: China Girl. The film also stars Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll, and Adam Beach.
Netflix is positioning The Power of the Dog to be a major awards contender, as the film has its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 2nd. Then the film will hit theaters for a limited period of time starting November 17 and it will available to stream on Netflix on December 1st.
The official synopsis for The Power of the Dog is:
Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.
The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.
As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?
Check out the trailer for The Power of the Dog: