The Power of the Dog

The wild landscapes of Central Otago in New Zealand (standing in for Montana) are vast, beautiful and lonely. He is a delicate boy who can make roses out of paper. Indeed, Smit-McPhee is more effective at showing inner life than Cumberbatch who, for all his grandstanding, is strangely opaque. In this, her first film centring male psychology after a career of female character studies, she makes observations about masculinity and power that defy classification. Nearby, recently widowed Rose (Kirsten Dunst) is trying to survive with her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee)…

Why The Portrait of a Lady remains Jane Campion’s most bittersweet film

Adapted by Laura Jones, who previously wrote the screenplay for Campion’s An Angel at My Table in 1990, The Portrait of a Lady is a fascinating outlier in the historical dramas of ’90s Hollywood. The Portrait of a Lady is also notable for the ways Campion and Jones re-envision James’ novel: Isabel’s worldwide travels, which take up a large part of the book, are distilled into a silent film full of jerky, sped-up motion; while considering her options, she fantasises about her three main suitors taking her to bed at…