One of the things that always draws me to Kirsten Dunst is her vulnerability. Even when she is playing characters with harder exteriors, she allows you to latch onto something that permits you to stay with the people she’s playing. In Jane Campion’s hypnotic, The Power of the Dog, Dunst is permitted to be the most open and vulnerable that we’ve ever seen her, and she may receive her first Oscar nomination.
Dunst plays Rose Gordon, the owner of an inn and a mother to Kodi Smit-McPhee’s Peter. She is swept off her feet by Jesse Plemons’ George, but she isn’t used to the luxurious life she’s introduced to. Along with that comes George’s brother, Phil, and he makes his angry feelings towards Ruth very known. When Phil gets closer to Peter, Rose begins to unravel and she turns to alcohol.
Early on in the film, Rose comments that she doesn’t like drinking when a group of rowdy guests enter her in, and it’s fascinating to see how depressed she gets to to the point of reaching for the bottle. Dunst and I also talk about how she might react if Peter vocalized his feelings about how he is different. Despite her faults and what she succumbs to, a lot of young people could use the acceptance and love that Rose gives to her son. Dunst has worked with a lot of incredible directors (we briefly admire The Virgin Suicides at the top of our chat), but this could be her finest hour yet.
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Music from https://filmmusic.io
“Cheery Monday” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)