New Zealand director Jane Campion has won the Best Director Oscar for her queer Netflix drama The Power of the Dog.
In the Western, filmed in New Zealand, a domineering rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) menaces his brother’s new wife and her younger son (Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee, above centre).
Campion’s film won critical acclaim as well as a swag of other awards for its exploration of toxic masculinity and sexuality.
And at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles today, Campion (above left) was named Best Director.
“I just wanted to say big love to my fellow nominees. I love you all, you’re all so extraordinarily talented,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“It could have been any of you.
“I love directing because it’s a deep dive into story. Yet the task of creating a world can be overwhelming.
“On The Power of the Dog, I worked with actors I’m moved to call my friends.
“They met the challenge of the story with the depth of their gifts.”
Jane Campion also thanked the author Thomas Savage, who wrote the 1967 novel on which the film is based.
“It would be impossible without the man I never met, Thomas Savage.
“He wrote about cruelty, wanting the opposite, kindness.
“Thank you, Academy. It’s a lifetime honour.”
It’s Campion second Oscar win, and the Kiwi is just the third female winner of the Best Director Oscar in the history of the Academy Awards.
Jane Campion’s win for Power of the Dog was film’s sole Oscar
The Power of the Dog was nominated in 12 categories, but Campion’s directing gong was the film’s sole Oscar win.
Drama CODA beat it to Best Picture, and Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee also missed out on Best Supporting Actor for his The Power of the Dog role.
Smit-McPhee earlier won a Golden Globe for his performance in January.
Earlier this month, Jane Campion made headlines for her response to actor Sam Elliot’s wild homophobic rant about her film’s “allusions to homosexuality”.
The Power of the Dog is streaming on Netflix now.
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