Spencer, Power of the Dog Teaser Trailers Drop Ahead of TIFF Premieres

Get your first looks at two of the biggest titles heading to TIFF with the trailers for Spencer and The Power of the Dog.

Spencer, which screens at TIFF as a Special Event, stars Kristen Stewart as the People’s Princess. Director Pablo Larraín, whose Jackie won TIFF’s Platform Prize and was my pick for the best film of 2016, promises to deliver another hypnotic portrait of a beloved icon based on this first glimpse. Stewart also has big shoes to fill after Emma Corrin wowed audiences with her turn as Diana Spencer in The Crown. However, Stewart’s consistently proving herself one of Hollywood’s most surprising actors after impressing TIFF audiences with her turns in films like Seberg, Personal Shopper, and Clouds of Sils Maria. Spencer also stars Jack Farthing as Prince Charles, along with Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins, and Timothy Spall.

Neon and Elevation Pictures also dropped the poster for Spencer yesterday ahead of the teaser trailer. A Twitter user quickly noted the uncanny resemblance of the image of the tragic princess to Jennifer Lawrence’s own tragic tumble on Oscar night. (I can’t unsee it.) Hopefully will Stewart avoid both a train and a wardrobe malfunction should her name be called on the circuit. Spencer hits theatres November 5.

Synopsis: The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. Spencer is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.

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The Power of the Dog Teaser Trailer

The Power of the Dog, meanwhile, is the most Cumberbitchin’ film in the TIFF festival of Benedict. Cumberbatch stars in this adaptation of Thomas Savage’s elegiac anti-western about a closeted rancher whose self-hate manifests itself as misogyny when his brother’s new wife, Rose, arrives on the farm. Kirsten Dunst plays Rose, who sinks into a pit of depression due to Phil’s meanness. Jesse Plemons co-stars as Rose’s husband and Phil’s kid brother Plemons, while Kodi Smit-McPhee, Thomasin McKenzie, Frances Conroy, Keith Carradine, Peter Carroll, and Adam Beach round out the cast.

The Power of the Dog marks Jane Campion’s return to the big screen in over a decade. The Oscar winner last went behind the camera of a film with 2009’s Bright Star, although she took a turn into television with two seasons of Top of the Lake, and delivered some of her best work in doing so. The Power of the Dog follows its TIFF premiere with a theatrical run beginning November 17 and a Netflix launch on December 1.

Synopsis: Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.

The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.

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As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?

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