“The Power Of the Dog,” a 2021 Western-themed film, recently came into the limelight again when its Oscar-nominated star, Jesse Plemons, said Sam Elliot’s comments of the Jane Campion film made him laugh.
Plemons made this comment at the premiere of his new film, “Windfall,” saying that everyone could have their own opinions and that, “I know there are different layers to that. Not everyone has to like it. I’ll say that. That’s fine.” Keep reading to find out what the criticism was and how the movie stars responded.
Elliot’s Criticism Of The Film
Elliot said he didn’t particularly enjoy the Western drama. To be more specific, he said the way the characters in the movie were shown and presented was questionable and that the movie’s central themes, such as masculinity and sexuality, were flat.
He said, “They made it look like, ‘what are all those dancers, those guys in New York that wear bowties and not much else?’ That’s what all these f*cking cowboys in that movie looked like.” “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f*cking movie,” he continued.
Fans believed that his comments were a reflection of his homophobia. Also, the movie’s director Jane Campion thought that his view was ridiculous and pointed out that people like Elliot proved how much of homosexual history in the West was swept under the carpet. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch, the lead actor for the movie, stepped in to recount the comments.
Cumberbatch Recounted The Criticism
The anger in Elliot’s tone seemed to be felt by just one person, Sam Elliot himself. “The Power Of The Dog” earned 12 nominations, including Academy Awards for best picture, best actor in a leading role, best directing, best supporting actor, and best actress in a supporting role.
Cumberbatch dismissed Elliot’s criticisms entirely, adding, “I have nothing to add because I’m a mature being and I’m passionate about what I do, and I don’t really give energy to anything outside of that. Good luck to him”.
At an appearance on a BAFTA Film Sessions panel, Cumberbatch noted that he couldn’t comment directly on the criticism since he hadn’t heard it, but that there was still a lot of intolerance of homosexuality and acceptance of anything different from the stereotypical Western expectations of masculinity in the world.
Wegner Agreed with Cumberbatch
When asked about her stance on the criticisms, Australian Oscar nominee Wegner took a similar position to Plemons. She told the NBC News, “I had to laugh, really. I find it hard to take it seriously because it’s really a wonderful example of the point the film is trying to make.”
Wegner continued, “There are so many stereotypes of what a man should be, and it’s crazy to think that they’re still so strong and present. I don’t know. I had to laugh a little bit. Not out of disrespect, everyone has their own opinions, but there is something deeply uneasy about hearing those kinds of comments in 2022.”
Jane Campion Responded To Elliot’s Criticisms
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Elliot’s comments on the WTF podcast went further than the show. He also said, “What the f*ck does this woman from down there know about the American West?” Campion replied to Elliot’s comments during a statement to Deadline on the DGA Awards red carpet, where she was nominated.
She said, “I think it’s really unfortunate and sad for him because he’s really hit the trifecta of misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia. I don’t like that. I think he was being a little bit of a b*tch. Plus, he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor.”
Campion further said that the only way to settle this was in a way that followed the movie: an actual Western-style shootout—with none other than Benedict Cumberbatch by her side, which fans believed was a hilarious way to end her point.