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The Power of the Dog (2021) Movie Review

When CODA was hailed the Best Picture winner during the 94th Academy Awards, many were disappointed because it lost against the vast favorite, The Power of the Dog. Both films tackle topics apart from each other but handle them pretty well.

However, you cannot deny this movie deserves to be commended even though it lost.

Plot Overview

Set during the mid-1920s in Montana. Wealthy ranch-owning brothers Phil and George Burbank meet with a widowed inn owner named Rose Gordon. Immediately the younger brother, George, likes Rose, but Phil dislikes her. He thinks that she is after their wealth. Phil also belittles Rose's teenage son, Peter, for being weak.

Despite Phil's constant disagreement, George marries Rose, and she moves into the Burbank house while Peter attends medical school. He organizes a dinner event with their parents and pressures Rose to present a piano recital for everyone. Phil's constant belittling of Rose's talents makes her unable to perform, and gets humiliated in front of the family. She becomes an alcoholic. Phil and his men continue to taunt Peter, who spends his time dissecting rabbits he catches.

It was revealed that Phil has a thing with his previous and late mentor, Bronco Henry which he had some sexual desires. Peter discovers Phil's secret after finding his stash of Bronco Henry's homoerotic magazines. Phil makes amends with Peter and teaches him how to make a lasso and ride a horse. Peter learns more of Phil's secret as the two get closer together.

This film features the incredible talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smith-McPhee, and Kirsten Dunst.


The Power of the Dog doesn't kick you on your seat immediately. It takes its story in a slow phase but satisfying plot. It thrives with plot twists that would either surprise or question you. It also makes you hate a character, then in between your opinion might change and at the.end you end up hating again.

The movie tackles several hard-hitting themes, especially masculinity, revenge, depression, etc. Some may not be as evident as others, but they made the movie great.

A massive prop to the endless talents of the movie stars that portrayed their role masterfully.

I wouldn't complain if The Power of the Dog won Best Picture because of the film's dark nature, but I understood that the Academy wants to select a light-hearted story that everyone can appreciate.

Overall, this film is good in its own right and deserves all the recognition it got from other award-winning bodies. It's a very well-written piece that tackles hard-hitting topics that may not be for everyone. It takes a lot of guts and strength to produce these kinds of films, and I have to commend its director for that.

A great 4 out of 5 stars.

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