Sam Elliott gave a scathing review of Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed film The power of the dog on its depiction of cowboys and the Wild West.
The veteran actor – whose cinematic heritage is inextricably linked to Westerns – said he considers the film’s portrayal of the American West “personal f*****”.
In the latest episode of comedian Marc Maron’s podcast WTF with Marc Maron, which was released on Monday (February 28), Elliott and Maron were discussing some of the biggest releases of 2021.
Towards the end of the podcast, Maron asked his guest if he had seen the Campion drama, with Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the film’s lead role.
“Yeah, you mean that piece of shit?” Elliott asked, explaining that his disdain for the film was partly driven by a critic’s review..
Continuing his review, Elliott compared the cowboys in Campion’s film to the Chippendales dancers who “wear bow ties and not much else”, adding, “That’s what all those fucking cowboys looked like. boys in this movie.”
“They run around in leggings and shirtless. There are all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the film,” he said.
Maron noted at this point that this is “what the movie is about”, in reference to film footage that suggests Cumberbatch’s character is a closeted gay man.
Elliott also criticized what he perceived as Campion’s lack of insight into the world she was trying to recreate.
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Before her response saying she’s “a brilliant director,” Elliott asked, “What the fuck is that woman over there doing? [New Zealand] know the American West? Why the hell did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And to say that it was like that?
Sam Elliott objected to Jane Campion’s portrayal of the American West in his critically acclaimed 2021 film ‘The Power of The Dog’
The actor suggested that “the myth is that they [American cowboys] were those macho men out there with cattle” when the reality couldn’t be further.
“I just arrived from Texas where I was hanging out with families – not men – but families. Large, long, extended, multi-generational families earning a living… And their lives were centered around cowboys. And man, when I fucking saw that [movie]I thought, ‘What the fuck is this’.
Elliott was filming for Taylor Sheridan’s Western TV show 1883, a prequel for Yellowstone, in Texas.
When Maron attempted to defend the film, Elliott retorted, “Where’s the western in this western?”
“I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f****** chaps,” he said. “He had two pairs of leggings – a wool pair and a leather pair. And every fuckin’ time he came from somewhere – he was never on a horse – he walked into the fuckin’ house, stormed the fuckin’ house stairs, go lay in his bed, in his leggings and plays the banjo.
The power of the dog is one of this year’s Oscar favorites, with 12 nominations.
You can read The Independentthe four-star review of The power of the dog here.