Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, “The Power of the Dog” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a masochistic cattle rancher named Phil Burbank, whose bullying demeanor is drawn from a frontier-worn masculinity and deeply closeted sexuality. After his cow herder brother (Jesse Plemons) covertly weds a young widow (Kirsten Dunst) with a son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Burbank begins to wage a war against his sister-in-law and Peter, a draining act that summons memories of the mentorship, affection and intimacy of a former cowboy.
“What little lady made these?” Cumberbatch’s Burbank murmurs in the new trailer, running his fingers through a carefully crafted paper flower. “I did, sir,” Smit-McPhee’s Peter replies, unknowingly giving Burbank an opportunity to humiliate him.
Shot in Campion’s native New Zealand, the new footage also features several of the grand landscapes featured in the film and shows some of the miseries that Burbank inflicts upon his new family.
“The Power of the Dog” has been received ecstatically by critics over its tour of the fall film festivals, with many in the industry projecting it will become an awards heavyweight in the coming season. In his review of the film, Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman hailed it as “a frontier Western made with a stately and austere poker-faced modernist classicism,” adding that “it’s also a socially conscious psychodrama that builds, over time, to a full boil.”
Watch the full trailer below.