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‘The Power of the Dog’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch named New York Film Festival’s centerpiece selection

Daily News
Daily News
 2021-07-27

Director Jane Campion’s dark drama “The Power of the Dog” has been chosen as the scintillating centerpiece at the New York Film Festival’s 59th edition this fall.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a Montana rancher whose behavior becomes concerning after a young widow moves to his property, the film will debut Oct. 1 at the Alice Tully Hall theater at Lincoln Center, organizers announced Tuesday.

“I am very honored that ‘The Power of the Dog’ has been selected as the Centerpiece Gala at this year’s New York Film Festival,” Campion said in a statement.

“Public screenings we long took for granted feel exceptional now, so it is going to be a very emotional and joyous experience for me and my team to be there and present the film to such a film-celebrating audience.”

“The Power of the Dog,” which also stars Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, is based on a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage. The film is slated for release on Netflix, but the date hasn’t been disclosed.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Jane Campion back to the festival with one of her very best films,” said Dennis Lim, the New York Film Festival’s director of programming.

“Everything about ‘The Power of the Dog’ is alive with surprise: its narrative turns, its rich characterizations, its complex ideas about masculinity and repression. It will introduce many to the work of the underappreciated novelist Thomas Savage, but it also reminds us of what cinema can do as a medium for accessing and expressing inner life.”

Campion is best known for 1993′s “The Piano,” which earned her a Best Original Screenplay Oscar and a nomination for Best Director. It also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. “The Power of the Dog” will hit the Venice Film Festival, which opens Sept. 1, before it arrives in New York.

The 2021 New York Film Festival — organized by the Film at Lincoln Center group, and running from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 — will open with “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” directed by Joel Coen and starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand and Corey Hawkins.

“We can’t wait to welcome New York Film Festival audiences back to Lincoln Center this fall, and what a way to do that!” Eugene Hernandez, the festival’s director, said in an announcement last week, calling the opening night at Alice Tully Hall a “return to our roots.”

The festival transitioned to virtual and drive-in movie screenings last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year was a deeply meaningful edition of NYFF; our festival traveled to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and around the country via our Virtual Cinema,” Hernandez said. “This year we’re back in our Upper West Side home, but you’ll also find us exploring new venues and ways to connect with moviegoers in person, outdoors and online — stay tuned!”

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