Could we ever resist a Kirsten Dunst performance? Not even if we tried. From Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides to The Beguiled and Bring It On, you don't need us to tell you that the actress has range - you've seen it for yourself. But we will notify you of her staggering new role in The Power of the Dog.
Director Jane Campion takes us to the dusty plains and outcrops of Montana, or in this case New Zealand - where the film was shot - and into the lives of two wealthy ranchers and brothers, Phil and George Burbank. Played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons from Olive Kitteridge and Netflix's mind-contorting I'm Thinking About Ending Things, the brothers are like chalk and cheese; Cumberbatch tough, charismatic and aggressive, Plemons softer and the sidekick.
When George marries Rose, played by Kirsten Dunst, he also becomes father to her thoughtful and sweet-natured teenage son, Peter. At first his brother Phil is disapproving, responding to Peter's more 'feminine' traits with cruelty and hazing tactics. But according to Netflix's log line of the film, this behaviour trails off as Phil has a change of heart and "appears to take the boy under his wing". “Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?" Netlfix asks.
Of course, Rose shadows her son and Phil's antics as the ultimate protector. Already, her performance is being tipped as Oscar worthy, which is enough to have us chomping at the bit to see it!
The Power of the Dog is based off of Thomas Savage's 1967 book of the same name and has been penned a “ranch story" by Campion. When it comes to the rest of the cast, expect a cameo from Thomasin McKenzie, who is no stranger to western-style dramas or book adaptations for that matter, having appeared in The True History of the Kelly Gang and more recently, Jojo Rabbit.
You can peep the first trailer for The Power of the Dog below, before it arrives at Netflix on December 1, 2021.