Netflix Western ‘The Power of the Dog’ Leads Oscars With 12 Nominations

by Madison Miller

There is one film that is absolutely dominating in Oscar nominations this year. When the official ceremony rolls around on March 27 we will know for sure just how many of these awards are getting snatched by this Netflix original.

The movie is “The Power of the Dog.” It is dominating with a total of 12 different nods at the Oscars, which is the most out of any other films. Science-fiction hit “Dune” is close behind with 10. The movie is a Western that is able to pick apart the genre itself.

It examines important themes like toxic masculinity while telling a gripping story. The Jane Campion film tells the story of three men’s masculinity, male loneliness, and how all that crafts a person and the people around them. Campion is also the first woman to ever be nominated for a Best Director Oscar twice.

The Western-style movie centers around a rancher named Phil Burbank that has a certain allure and fear that consistently surrounds him. His brother brings a new wife and her son home suddenly. Burbank takes it upon himself to torment both of them. Then, the rancher becomes enthralled with this new possibility of love that enters his life. The film takes place in 1925 rural Montana.

The movie stars an exceptional cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons ‘The Power of the Dog’

Many people are especially rooting for Kirsten Dunst to win Best Supporting Actress. Her role in the film was outstanding and this also happens to be her very first nomination. Not only did she get a nomination, but also her real-life partner Jesse Plemons, who also stars in “The Power of the Dog,” nabbed a nod as well.

It’s both of their first Oscar nominations.

“Then I called Jesse, and I was the first person to tell him and he was a little shell shocked. I mean, it’s just so crazy to be a couple and have our first nominations together … like a storybook … It’s so weird. It’s amazing,” Dunst said to Variety.

This is the first time two couples are up for nominations. Penélope Cruz is nominated for “Parallel Mothers” and Javier Bardem for “Being the Ricardos.”

Benedict Cumberbatch Talks About His Role

In addition to ‘The Power of the Dog,” Cumberbatch has also been busy with his role in the Marvel Universe as Doctor Strange.

For Cumberbatch, this kind of role was fairly new to him. “What’s really fascinating about bringing a character like Phil Burbank to life [is] you’re really looking under the hood of it, you’re examining the causality behind that toxic masculinity,” Cumberbatch said to NPR.

He also said he gained a lot of insight around what it takes to run the land like his character does. Not only that, but he said he loved getting to play a character that was far from being a “people pleaser.”