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#Jane Campion on CODA’s Best Picture Oscar Win Over The Power of the Dog: ‘I’m Happy For Them’

“Jane Campion on CODA’s Best Picture Oscar Win Over The Power of the Dog: ‘I’m Happy For Them’”

Jane Campion has opened up about The Power of the Dog, leaving almost empty-handed at this year’s Academy Awards. The film garnered the most nominations (12) and was the favorite in several categories, having swept all the major awards leading up to the Oscars. But surprisingly, Apple’s indie drama CODA bagged the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture while Campion walked away with the Best Director Oscar, The Power of the Dog’s only win that controversial night.

Jane Campion recently talked to the BBC about The Power of the Dog’s difficult journey to the screen and how the film couldn’t have been made without Netflix’s support. But Campion and The Power of the Dog cast and crew’s hard work paid off when it premiered to rave reviews and strong streaming ratings. The film ended up winning the top award at the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the BAFTAs.


However, the Oscars threw a curveball when CODA was announced as the Best Picture winner. Although it wasn’t totally unexpected, as it was a tight race between films like The Power of the Dog, Belfast, Dune, West Side Story, and more, Campion attributes the sentimentality of CODA as the reason behind its historical win.

“With the Academy it seemed that Coda really captured the hearts of people. It was an easier film to understand and, you know, that’s the way it went and I’m happy for them.”

CODA is indeed more relatable and heartfelt compared to the glum, slow-burn The Power of the Dog, and perhaps that’s why it resonated more with the Academy voters. But no one, including Campion, is complaining about CODA’s big win, which it very well deserved. Written and directed by Sian Heder, CODA centers on the only hearing member of a deaf family as she aspires to be a singer while helping her family’s struggling fishing business. CODA was praised by the deaf community for its nuanced portrayal of the characters and casting deaf actors.

The Power of the Dog also created history when Jane Campion became the only woman to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar twice and the third female winner in the history of the Academy Awards. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead, The Power of the Dog is available to stream on Netflix.

Related: Why The Power of The Dog is One of the Best Films on Netflix

The Power Of The Dog Received Criticism For Its Themes

The Power of the Dog being a revisionist western didn’t connect with the viewers as much as the other top films of 2021. The restrained pacing didn’t help the film either, but it still registered fairly large streaming numbers, but some people went overboard with their criticism of The Power of the Dog. Sam Elliott called the film a “piece of sh*t” and slammed its “allusions to homosexuality” in a profanity-laden rant.

“What the f**k does this woman — she’s a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, previous work — but what the f**k does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the f**k does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was.’ That f**king rubbed me the wrong way, pal. The myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from f**king Texas where I was hanging out with families, not men, families, big, long, extended, multiple-generation families…”

Campion responded in kind after hearing Elliott, calling him sexist, while other cast members of The Power of the Dog laughed off the absurd remarks. Elliott ultimately apologized for his comments after receiving severe backlash from the gay community.

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