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Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in The Power of the Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank in The Power of the Dog. [Cr. Kirsty Griffin/NETFLIX © 2021]

The critically acclaimed drama film The Power Of The Dog, written and directed by Academy Award® winner Jane Campion, has been added to the AFI FEST 2021 lineup as a Red Carpet Premiere event.

The film which earned Campion the Silver Lion Award at Venice Film Festival for directing, stars Academy Award® nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Frances Conroy, Thomasin McKenzie, Geneviève Lemon and Academy Award® winner Keith Carradine.

The Power Of The Dog will be released in theaters on November 17 and on Netflix December 3.

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, revelling 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?

AFI FEST 2021 takes place from November 10 – 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. The World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM! directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda will open the festival and KING RICHARD directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green will close the festival. Additional Red Carpet Premieres include the World Premieres of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry’s directorial debut BRUISED and Academy Award® winner Benjamin Cleary’s feature directorial debut SWAN SONG, and PARALLEL MOTHERS, directed by Academy Award® winner Pedro Almodóvar.

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