Category Archives: Netflix

FILM REVIEW: Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog

Posted by Larry Gleeson



Jane Campion’s latest work, The Power of the Dog, screened as part of a Red Carpet Premiere at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood California, during the American Film Institute’s  AFI FEST 2021, on Thursday, November 11th. Campion is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. She is the second of seven women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the first female filmmaker to receive the Palme d’Or; both of these achievements came for The Piano (1993).


The Power of the Dog,  written and directed by Campion, is set in 1925 Montana and circles around two well-off brothers who own an influential ranching operation. The Burbank brothers, played by Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch, come across as polar opposites. Phil Burbank, played by Cumberbatch, is an infamous Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University who prefers the daily grind of working the ranch with the hired hands. Cumberbatch brings a deep dark presence to the character in what might be his best performance to date. Plemmons plays Gordon Burbank,  the slower, mild-mannered younger brother, embodying a ranch gentleman with grace and style. Kirsten Dunst portrays Rose Gordon, a compelling love interest as a saloon-style restaurant owner who serves dinners to the locals with her son, Peter, portrayed by Kodi Smith-McPhee in a breakout performance.

While The Power of the Dog is set in Montana, the actual film location is New Zealand – adding a surreal quality. And, Campion’s writing matches it full force. The twists and turns in the dramatic, psychological, roller-coaster ride narrative combined with Cumberbatch’s powerful, dark character portrayal set the audience on the edge of their seats and their eyes fixed on the big screen. Undoubtedly, Campion is in the mix for her second Oscar for screenwriting and appears to be in the mix for a directorial nod as well.


Q & A, on November 11th, 2021, following the screening of The Power of the Dog, inside Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)


Following the screening, a fun-filled Q & A unfolded as the film’s actors, editor, cinematographer, and director sparred, cajoled, and informed under the watchful eye of moderator Hahn as she effectively marshaled the energies of The Power of the Dog conversation. The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021, release date,  is a magnificent and majestic work tantalizing and titillating – a bonafide Oscar contender for now – in multiple categories! Highly recommended. One of the year’s best films!


Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Gordon in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021 release. (Photo Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021 Cross City Films Limited/Courtesy of Netflix)

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

Can a Netflix comedy win an Oscar?

Posted by Larry Gleeson

(excerpts from Dan Montgomery,

Netflix has released a trailer for its upcoming film, The Meyerowitz Stories, written and directed by Noah Baumbach. Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel star as siblings who contend with the influence of their strong-willed father played by Dustin Hoffman. The film screened in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival without screening in any French theaters. The festival instituted new rules to take effect in 2018: no film may compete for the Palme without plans for theatrical distribution in France.

Here in the U.S. Netflix films have been similarly controversial at the Oscars. While Netflix documentaries like Virunga and 13th have been welcomed, the company was unable to make a dent with its 2015 narrative film, Beasts of No Nation, which was made available online at the same time as its limited, Oscar-qualifying release. The snub of that film was significant also because it contributed to the #OscarsSoWhite protest — Idris Elba was considered a strong contender for Best Supporting Actor that year, and he would have been the only person of color nominated for an acting award — but the Netflix factor was also a probable contributor to its shortfall.

Amazon Studios has also dipped its toe in the water when it comes to producing awards hopefuls. But, it has had better luck, perhaps because it follows a more traditional distribution model. Last November the company released Manchester by the Sea with Roadside Attractions. It didn’t become available to Amazon Prime subscribers until the following May.

Undaunted, Netflix will simultaneously release The Meyerowitz Stories in select theaters and on Netflix beginning October 13th!

Stay tuned for more on Netflix and its chase for Oscars.


(Source: ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ trailer: Can Adam Sandler Netflix comedy win Oscars after Cannes controversy? – by Dan Montgomery,