Film Review: The Power of the Dog


Brent Northup

The Power of the Dog

At The Myrna Loy

I’m tired of seeing other places standing in for Montana in Big Sky movies.

“The Power of the Dog,” set in Montana in 1925, was written in 1967 by Thomas Savage (1915-2003) who grew up on a ranch in Beaverhead County.

Why, then, travel to New Zealand to shoot the movie? Most likely because director Jane Campion lives in New South Wales. Come to where the story was born, folks! A river runs through it!

Let’s saddle up and explore the closeted side of Montana cowboys – boots with no spurs.

Writer/director Jane Campion uses a feminist lens to capture cattle drives.

“It’s a ranch story,” said Campion in one interview. “But nobody’s got a gun.”

At the outset the script serves up a thick side dish of macho.

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But just as we start growing uncomfortable with the misogyny that’s flowing from rancher Phil, writer Campion pulls the lever and sends her train down a side track.

The story revolves around two brothers

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