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The Power of the Dog starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Power of the Dog starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Netflix)

Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst makes its New York premiere as the Centerpiece selection for the 59th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on October 1.

Adapted from a 1967 cult novel by Thomas Savage that was notoriously ahead of its time in depicting repressed sexuality, The Power of the Dog excavates the emotional torment experienced at a Montana cattle ranch in the 1920s. Here, melancholy young widow Rose (Kirsten Dunst) has come to live with her sensitive new husband, George (Jesse Plemons), though their lives are increasingly complicated by the erratic, potentially violent behavior of his sullen and bullying brother, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), whose mistrust of both Rose and her misfit son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) leads to tragic consequences. Mirroring the unpredictable story turns, Campion crafts a film of unexpected cadences and rhythms, and her daring is matched every step of the way by her extraordinary, fully immersed cast and a mercurial, destabilizing score by Jonny Greenwood. A Netflix release.

“I am very honored that The Power of the Dog has been selected as the Centerpiece Gala at this year’s New York Film Festival,” said director Jane Campion. “Public screenings we long took for granted feel exceptional now, so it is going to be a very emotional and joyous experience for me and my team to be there and present the film to such a film-celebrating audience.”

Four of Campion’s previous films—Sweetie (1989), An Angel at My Table (1990), The Piano (1993), and Holy Smoke (1999)—have been official selections of NYFF, and in 2017, Film at Lincoln Center presented Jane Campion’s Own Stories, a retrospective of her film and television work.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival takes place September 24 – October 10, 2021.

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