If there is one thing Sam Elliott takes seriously, it’s his Westerns.
The 1883 star recently sat down with Marc Maron for an episode of his WTF Podcast, and when they got to talking about the Academy Awards movies, Sam wasted no time tearing Oscar favorite The Power Of The Dog, a whole new asshole.
Based on Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel of the same name, and directed by Jane Campion, The Power Of The Dog is billed as a western psychological drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
And Sam Elliott HATED it:
“You wanna talk about that piece of shit?”
Marc chimed in, “you didn’t like that one?”
“Fuck no… I’ll tell ya why. I didn’t like it anyway, I looked at it when I was down there in Texas doing 1883, and what really brought it home was there was a fuckin’ full page out in the LA Times and there was a clip and it talked about the evisceration of the American myth.
And I thought, ‘what the fuck… what the fuck? This is a guy that’s done Westerns forever.’ The evisceration of the American West, I mean they made it look like… what are those dancers that wear bowties and not much else?”
To which, Marc said, “Oh, the Chippendales?”
“Yeah, that’s what all these fucking cowboys in that movie looked like. They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts, there’s all these allusions of homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.”
But more than the demeanor of the cowboys, Elliott even had a problem with the set… which was supposed to be Montana. But, it looked nothing like Montana…
“What the fuck does this woman, she’s a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, from New Zealand know about the American West? And why the fuck did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana?
So that fucking rubbed me the wrong way pal and the myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from Texas where I was hanging out with families, not men, but families. Big, long, extended, multiple generations families that made their living, and their lives, all about being cowboys. So when I saw that I said ‘what the fuck?'”
Elliott also had a problem with Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, the lead cowboy on the ranch, Phil Burbank.
“I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his fucking chaps. He had two pair of chaps… a wooly pair and a leather pair, and every time he’d walk in from somewhere, I don’t know where because he never was on a horse.
He walk into the fucking house, storm up the fucking stairs, go lay in bed in his chaps and play his banjo.
What the fuck? What the fuck? Where’s the Western in this Western? I took it personal, I took it fucking personal, pal.”
DAMN… somebody call 911, because there has just been a murder.
To be fair, I watched The Power Of The Dog on Netflix a couple weeks back, hooked by the tagline of a psychological western thriller, and to be honest… there wasn’t much to be thrilled about.
While visually stunning, I said to my wife, “Is this Scotland or Ireland? Sure as hell doesn’t look like Montana to me.” And of course, it wasn’t… the movie is filmed in New Zealand.
As a casual Western fan, I found it a little boring until the end, but of course, Sam Elliott has made Western flicks his life’s work. It’s not hard to understand why he hated with the movie, especially after just finishing up on Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel, 1883.
However, despite Sam Elliott’s scathing review of the film, it’s still an Oscar darling leading the charge with 12 nominations this year.
The 94th Academy Awards are set for Sunday, March 27th.