Watch the new trailer for Jane Campion’s acclaimed Oscars favorite ‘The Power of the Dog’

One of the year’s most acclaimed films has a brand-new trailer that should do little to dampen its pre-release buzz and anticipation. Out December 1 on Netflix following a brief theatrical run in November, Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” is already one of 2021’s top contenders: In the combined Gold Derby odds, the Western starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee is the top choice in Best Picture, Best Director for Campion, Best Adapted Screenplay for Campion, and Best Supporting Actress for Dunst, and a serious threat in Best Actor for Cumberbatch, and Best Supporting Actor for both Smit-McPhee and Plemons.

All of the stars are given room to shine in the new teaser that Netflix released Thursday, which mixes footage from the movie — Campion’s first in 12 years — with euphoric pull quotes about the performances. Composer Johnny Greenwood’s score is also teased in the trailer.

Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix: 

Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.

The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, revelling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.

As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil 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?

Cumberbatch stars as Phil in the film with Plemons as his brother, George. Dunst is Rose, while Smit-McPhee plays her son, Peter. “The Power of the Dog” is based on the novel by Thomas Savage.

Campion is one of only seven women to ever receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Should she pay off the early odds with a nomination at the 2022 Oscars, Campion would become the first woman to earn two Academy Award nominations for directing. She’s a previous Oscar winner in the original screenplay category for “The Piano.”

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