Sam Elliot, actor in the romance movie A Star is Born, and Yellowstone spin-off 1883, is not a fan of The Power of the Dog. Speaking on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Elliot gave a scathing review to Jane Campion’s drama movie.
“Why the fuck did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say this is the way it was?” Elliot says, in reference to Campion making the film in her home country. He goes on to question the portrayal of cowboys in the film, stating it doesn’t capture those who live that lifestyle. “I just came from Texas where I was hanging out with families – not men – but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families that made their livings, and their lives were all about being about cowboys. And boy, when I fucking saw that [movie], I thought, ‘What the fuck’.”
He ends on one simple preposition: “Where’s the western in this western?” Maron retorts by saying Campion wasn’t making a typical western thriller movie, and The Power of the Dog was always meant to be more of an arthouse take on the typical genre trappings.
Elliot’s opinion is an outlier, as Campion’s film is a major Oscars frontrunner, with no less than 12 nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture. Jesse Plemons, Kristen Dunst, and Kodi Smit-McPhee costar with Cumberbatch.
The story follows two brothers, Phil (Cumberbatch) and George (Plemons), who have their ranch-managing lives disrupted when George falls in love with the widowed Rose (Dunst). Phil resents their connection and starts to harass Peter, Rose’s son. It’s based on the novel by Thomas Savage.
Elliot just finished starring in 1883, a limited series prequel to Yellowstone, about the founding of the Dutton family ranch in Montana. All ten episodes are now available on streaming service Paramount Plus in the US.