Veteran actor Sam Elliott has been severely critical of the Academy Award-nominated Jane Campion Netflix film, The Power of the Dog, even calling it a “piece of shit.”
Elliott’s cinematic legacy boasts glorious westerns. He was recently seen in Paramount’s 1883, a prequel to Yellowstone.
In an episode of Marc Maron’s podcast WTF with Marc Maron, the veteran actor blasted the film for its stereotypical depiction of the wild west and cowboys while discussing some of the big releases of 2021. He said that he had taken the film’s portrayal of the American west “fucking personal”.
While discussing the film that he clearly loathed, Elliott did not hold back from comparing the cowboys in Campion’s film to Chippendales dancers. He expressed his disdain towards the cowboys “running around in chaps and no shirts” while bringing up the “allusions of homosexuality” in the film. As Maron pointed out, Elliott must have missed the memo about Benedict Cumberbatch’s character being a closeted gay man in the movie.
He was critical of Campion’s lack of vision and insight into the American West. While he called her a “brilliant director”, Elliott went on a fuming rant about her portrayal of the wild west.
“What the fuck does this woman from down there [New Zealand] know about the American west?” he said. “Why the fuck did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say this is the way it was?”
When Maron wanted to defend the film, Elliott asked, “where’s the western in this western?” He also criticised the overall aura of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, who “never was on a horse, he’d walk into the fucking house, storm up the fucking stairs, go lay in his bed, in his chaps and play the banjo.”
While Elliott disapproves of the film, The Power of the Dog has won a staggering number of 12 nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in Leading Role.
Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, the film also starred Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Jesse Plemons. A commentary on homophobia, misogyny, toxic masculinity, and other darker themes, The Power of the Dog is set in a 1920s Montana ranch where a problematic bully undergoes a sexual reawakening.