Jane Campion’s return to the world of cinema has been a highly anticipated one and it looks like it has paid off big time. Campion’s latest project, The Power of the Dog, has already broken records in terms of accolades and nominations and has even managed to gather a lot of bids at this year’s iteration of the Academy Awards, including nominations for Best Director as well as Best Picture.
Some audience members have also felt that the film is overrated but none of them have made comments that were as strange as what Sam Elliott had to say about the film. While describing his response to Campion’s new project, Elliott claimed that the film was a “piece of shit” even though he admired Campion’s other films.
Elliott claimed that Campion did not know anything about the American West and had no right to make a western outside the country (New Zealand in this case), despite the fact that some of the greatest pioneers of the genre such as Sergio Leone have revolutionised the art of westerns by doing just that. The ageing actor also had a problem with the representation of cowboys in the film and claimed that it made him very confused.
In a recent interview, the star of The Power of the Dog – Benedict Cumberbatch – responded to Sam Elliott’s criticism by characterising them as “very odd”. He explained that Campion’s portrayal of the West does reflect the reality of this world as well as the one in the past, insisting that he did not understand the absurd comments made by Elliott.
“There’s no harm in looking at a character to get to the root causes of that. This is a very specific case of repression, but also due to an intolerance for that true identity that Phil is that he can’t fully be,” Cumberbatch claimed. “The more we look under the hood of toxic masculinity and try to discover the root causes of it, the bigger chances we have of dealing with it when it arises with our children.”
Watch the new trailer for The Power of the Dog below.