Title: The Power of the Dog Rating: R Runtime: 126 mins Spolier-filled review to follow: Yes
What's it about? Two brothers run a ranch in the shittiest time and place ever, 1920's Montana. One is an absolute asshole, the other is Jessie Plemons. Plemons is a kind man, and draws the ire of his brother, Phil (the aforementioned a-hole/shitface cockmaster) when he invites his new/actual wife and her, um, quirky son to live at the ranch. Phil, when not covering his naked body in mud after reading erotic literature in his masturbation fort, is a top-tier cowboy, capable of castrating a bull in eight seconds. He's also a f--king jerk.
What works: I'm pretty sure Jessie Plemons can do no wrong, and I adored him as the moderately sullen George. I've also loved Kirsten Dunst since the day I was born, and even if she exists in a raging sandstorm that only she can see, my feelings remain unchanged. Montana/New Zealand is gorgeous, and the stark setting makes the whole affair feel like a gotdamned horror movie at times. And as much as the ending enraged me, I'm all for feeling an emotion other than blinding consternation.
What doesn't: Cumberbatch occasionally sounds like the Grinch, and it intermittently derailed how much I was scared of Phil. George's stepson, the effeminate Peter, might be too-gay-to-function, as this poor kid's existence seems like a hate-crime waiting to happen. George, read the room, man...you're one paper-flower away from stopping my heart. There's a room full of uneducated ranch hands, maybe dial it back?