Sam Elliott had many things to say about “The Power of the Dog,” and none of it was complementary to the film’s writer and director, Jane Campion, or any of the film’s cast, especially Benedict Cumberbatch.
“The Power of the Dog” follows the experiences of the Burbank family when one brother brings home his new wife and her son, recently topped trends when it received 12 Oscar nominations.
The film has also received many positive reviews from film critics and audiences and topped trends on Netflix for months after its release. So, it was a bit of a surprise to hear Elliot’s negative statements about the film. Read to find out what he said.
Elliott Called The Film A ‘Piece Of S–t’
Elliott, who is known as a legendary Western actor, made known his opinions about “The Power of the Dog” during his appearance on a recent episode of WTF With Marc Maron. His tirade began when host Marc Maron asked the “Road House” actor if he had watched the film.
Elliott replied with, “You wanna talk about that piece of s–t?” and then referenced a piece in the Los Angeles Times as a summary of all his issues with the movie. He mentioned, in particular, a blurb from the article which “talked about ‘the evisceration of the American myth.'”
He also said, “I thought, What the f–k? What the f–k? This is the guy that’s done Westerns forever. The evisceration of the American West, they look like, all those dancers, those guys in New York that wear bow ties and not much else? Remember them back in the day?” Maron then said the dancers are called Chippendales dancers.
He Took A Swipe At Campion And The Film’s Nod To Homosexuality
Elliott said that he thought all the cowboys in the movie looked like Chippendales dancers. He said, “They’re all runnin’ around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f–kin’ movie.”
Here, Maron said, “Yeah, I think that’s what the movie’s about,” and pointed out that Phil Burbank, Cumberbatch’s character, is meant to be a closeted homosexual man. After criticizing the cast and their clothing, Elliott turned his wrath on Campion.
He said, “Jane Campion’s a brilliant director, by the way. I love her work, previous work. But what the f–k does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the f–k does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was?’ So that f–kin’ rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”
Elliott Also Had Major Issues With Cumberbatch
Elliott still had more issues with the film, including how much Cumberbatch’s character wore shoes. He told Maron, “I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f–king chaps. He had two pairs of chaps—a wooly pair and a leather pair.”
“And every f–king time he would walk in from somewhere…he never was on a horse, maybe once—he’d walk into the f–king house, storm up the f–king stairs, go lay in his bed in his chaps and play his banjo. It’s like, what the f–k?” He concluded with, “Where’s the Western in this Western?… I took it f–kin’ personal, pal.”
The day after the interview was released, Netflix posted a reaction tweet, a screenshot from the film in which Kodi Smit-McPhee’s character tells his mother, “He’s just a man. Only another man.”
The Movie Has 12 Oscar Nominations
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“The Power of the Dog” topped the list of nominees for the 94th Academy Awards by picking up 12 nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and more.
At the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the film also received recognition, with Dunst being nominated for the award of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Cumberbatch for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and Kodi Smit-McPhee for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.