The 50 best films of 2021 in the UK, No 1: The Power of the Dog

With Benedict Cumberbatch as a jeeringly malicious cowboy in 1920s Montana, Jane Campion’s taut, western psychodrama, her first feature in over a decade, is our best film of 2021Best films of 2021: the complete listMore on the best culture of 2021The year’s best film is a western, based on a novel from the 1960s (by Thomas Savage) when the western was a more accepted popular genre in both movies and books than it is now.

But it modifies that genre, creating something more elusive and unmanageable: western psychodrama? Western gothic? And it tackles issues around sexual politics, toxic masculinity and family dysfunction in a very contemporary way.The Power of the Dog is Jane Campion’s first feature film in over a decade, the last 10 years having been mostly taken up with her hit streaming-tv series, Top of the Lake, with Elisabeth Moss.

Maybe that project influenced the

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