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‘Power of the Dog’ gets Standing O at Venice Fest for Benedict Cumberbatch

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Above: Photo / Netflix

High quality streaming fare is rising in focus with theatrical releases uncertain…

A 4 minute standing ovation was the result of the first screening of “Power of the Dog” at the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival on September 1st, 2021. Thunderous applause and cheers erupted at the end of the debut screening for the romantic drama that features Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst.

Based on the novel by Thomas Savage set in Montana in the 1920s, the performance, partly perhaps the ability of Cumberbatch to overcome his “Sherlock / Dr. Strange” image via the power of acting along with top flight writing and directing, appears to be the impetus for the Oscar buzz that’s already building.

It’s not uncommon for that to happen with a strong showing at the Venice Film Festival and, though this is a streaming / Netflix production, awards for quality films financed by streamers is also no longer unusual.

Previously, Cumberbatch got the nod from the Academy in 2014 for his work in The Imitation Game, and, although the award ultimately went to Edward Redmayne for ‘The Theory of Everything’, the nomination itself put a big spotlight on his career.

‘Culturally, it’s really important for streaming services to help nourish the cinema experience,’

Benedict Cumberbatch commenting on “Power of the Dog”

Naturally, it’s always great when an actual actor becomes a movie star. Benedict Cumberbatch has been in a myriad of productions recently such as “Doctor Strange“, “The Mauritanian”, “The Courier”, “Avengers” and on and on, with nearly 100 actor credits and that doesn’t even touch on his work as an executive producer.

Running the gamut from the Multiverse to spy thrillers and serious suspense his ability to portray depth and intelligence has stood him in good steed.

Going all the way back to “Tinker Tailor Solider Spy” and “The Imitation Game” (not to mention his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes) a solid body of work is has been established which hopefully will not turn into a house of cards as a result of inevitable over-exposure.

Cumberbatch’s newest role is as a rancher from Montana named Phil Burbank. “The Power of the Dog” is based on a novel by the same name. Set in 1925, Phil “inspires fear and awe in those around him”. When his brother (Jesse Plemons) brings home a new wife (Kirsten Dunst), Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to… the possibility of love.

Netflix gave viewers a little taste with the official teaser trailer for the film. The movie will be released initially in theaters on November 17 and will debut on the streaming platform the 1st of December.


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