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Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Netflix period western drama written and directed by Jane Campion. The Power of the Dog (2021) follows charismatic rancher Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), who inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother, George (Jesse Plemons), brings home a new wife, Rose (Kirsten Dunst), and her son, Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.
Our Favorite Quotes:'A man's made by patience and the odds against him.' - Phil Burbank (The Power of the Dog) Click To Tweet
Peter Gordon: When my father passed, I wanted nothing more than my mother’s happiness. For what kind of man would I be if I did not help my mother. If I did not save her.
Phil Burbank: There’s a dead cow. Keep our cattle away.
George Burbank: What happened?
Phil Burbank: Anthrax. Don’t touch.
Phil Burbank: Well, I guess this is it.
George Burbank: What’s “it”, Phil?
Phil Burbank: What’s “it”? Alright, F**so, I’ll tell you what “it” is. Twenty five years since our first run together. Nineteen hundred and nothing.
George Burbank: That’s a long time.
Phil Burbank: But not too damn long.
Phil Burbank: People helped you, F**so. One person in particular. Taught you and me ranching, so we damn well succeeded.
George Burbank: Bronco Henry.
Phil Burbank: So, to us, brothers, Romulus and Remus, and the wolf who raised us.
George Burbank: [referring to Rose and Peter] What you said about her boy tonight, Phil, made her cry.
Phil Burbank: She had an ear to the door?
George Burbank: She was crying, Phil.
Phil Burbank: What the hell? I said her boy needed to snap out of it and get human. Pointed it out, that’s all. She should damn well know.
Bobby: What is it you see out there, Phil? Are animals out there?
Jock: Has anyone else seen what you’ve seen, Phil?
Phil Burbank: No, not him.
Bobby: Come on Phil, what is it? There is something there, right?
Phil Burbank: Not if you can’t see it, there ain’t.
Phil Burbank: [referring to Beach] What were you doing down there, Georgie boy? Little tomcatting?
George Burbank: I was speaking to Mrs. Gordon.
Phil Burbank: Oh, yes. She cried on your shoulder.
George Burbank: So she did.
Phil Burbank: [referring to Peter] Give her half a chance, and she’ll be after some dollar for Miss Nancy’s college fee.
Phil Burbank: [writing a letter] George has got himself tangled with a suicide widow, and her half-cooked son.
'I just wanted to say how nice it is not to be alone.' - George Burbank (The Power of the Dog) Click To Tweet
Phil Burbank: [referring to Rose] Well, you know as well as I do what the Old Lady would feel if she thought you were getting mixed up with her. She’d likely have a hemorrhage.
George Burbank: The Old Lady would feel as one Mrs. Burbank would feel for another Mrs. Burbank.
Phil Burbank: Come again.
George Burbank: We were married Sunday. She got rid of her property in Beach.
Rose Gordon: What is it, George?
George Burbank: Oh, I just wanted to say how nice it is not to be alone.
Rose Gordon: Well, brother Phil, we had such a nice trip.
Phil Burbank: I’m not your brother. You’re a cheap schemer.
Governor Edward: It’s an island of civilization here. I was telling Georgie about your brother, Phi Beta Kappa at Yale. Wasn’t it?
George Burbank: Yes. And classics. That’s right.
Governor Edward: So, he swears at the cattle in Greek or in Latin.
George Burbank: They were asking after you.
Phil Burbank: Really?
George Burbank: Yes, we were counting on your conversation. I shouldn’t have said what I said to you about…
Phil Burbank: You two can keep your apologies to yourself. I’m not coming.
George Burbank: And what will I say? The Old Lady wants to see you too. She’s come a long way.
Phil Burbank: You tell them the truth, that I stink. And I like it.
'When my father passed, I wanted nothing more than my mother's happiness. For what kind of man would I be if I did not help my mother. If I did not save her.' - Peter Gordon (The Power of the Dog) Click To Tweet
Peter Gordon: I made a new friend. He calls me doctor, and I call him professor, because that’s what we want to be.
Bobby: [as Phil is handling the cattle] How come you don’t wear gloves?
Phil Burbank: I’m not because they’re not needed.
Rose Gordon: I thought you liked rabbits.
Peter Gordon: Yes. I do. But if I want to be a surgeon, I have to practice.
Rose Gordon: Well, you’re not to kill them in the house, Peter. No, I’m putting my foot down.
Peter Gordon: Well, where would a man would be if he always did what his mother told him?
Peter Gordon: Are you alright, mother?
Rose Gordon: No, I feel like my eyes are going to pop out of my head.
Peter Gordon: It’s Phil. Isn’t it? He’s cold.
Rose Gordon: He’s just a man, Peter. Only another man.
'We're not unreachable.' - Rose Gordon (The Power of the Dog) Click To Tweet
Peter Gordon: You want me, Mr. Burbank?
Phil Burbank: Well, I don’t see any Mr. Burbank here. I’m Phil.
Peter Gordon: Yes, Mr. Burbank.
Phil Burbank: I guess it’s hard for a youngin like you to call an old fella like me just plain Phil, at first.
Phil Burbank: Peter, we kind of got off on the wrong foot.
Peter Gordon: Did we, sir?
Phil Burbank: Forget the “sir” stuff. That can happen to people. People who get to be good friends.
Phil Burbank: Sort of a lonesome place out here, Pete. Unless you get in the swing of things.
Phil Burbank: You got any boots?
Peter Gordon: Yes.
Phil Burbank: Then you should wear them. Don’t let your mom make a sissy out of you.
Phil Burbank: That saddle belonged to Bronco Henry. Greatest rider I ever knew. There’s a cliff, way out back at the ranch with initials in 1805 carved into it. It must have been some fella from Lewis and Clark expedition. They were real men in those days.
'Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog.' Click To Tweet
Peter Gordon: Did Bronco Henry teach you to ride, Phil?
Phil Burbank: Yep. He taught me to use my eyes in ways that other people can’t. Take that hill over there. Most people look at it and just see a hill. Where Bronco looked at it, what do you suppose he saw?
Peter Gordon: A barking dog.
Phil Burbank: What the hell? You just saw that now?
Peter Gordon: No. When I first came here. See, it looks like a dog with its jaw wide open.
Phil Burbank: You just saw that?
Rose Gordon: When I was little, I felt a chill in my spine when I heard the chalk squeak on a blackboard. Mrs. Merchant, that’s who it was. She drew chalk stars by our names on the blackboard. I wonder why it was stars she gave us. Why not diamonds? Why not hearts? Why not spades? I wonder why it was always stars.
Peter Gordon: Because stars are supposed to be unreachable.
Rose Gordon: Yes. But they weren’t unreachable, because she gave them to us.
Rose Gordon: We’re not unreachable.
Phil Burbank: What are you doing?
Bobby: [referring to Peter] Going to give him a hand.
Phil Burbank: Don’t. Let him figure it out. Or not. You fall off, you get back on!
Rose Gordon: Can’t Peter go with you today?
George Burbank: Well, he could. But him and Phil have kind of paired up.
Rose Gordon: I don’t want that. I don’t want him to be with Phil at all!
George Burbank: Rose, he’s helping him. He taught him how to ride.
Phil Burbank: Bronco Henry told me that a man was made by patience and the odds against him.
Peter Gordon: My father said obstacles, and you had to try and remove them.
Phil Burbank: Another way to put it. Well, you’ve certainly got obstacles. That’s a fact, Pete.