Speed Reads

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Actor Sam Elliott criticizes 'allusions of homosexuality' in The Power of the Dog

It's safe to say Sam Elliott won't be voting for The Power of the Dog for Best Picture.

The 1883 star on the WTF podcast went off on the Netflix Western that's expected to win Best Picture at the Oscars, declaring it a "piece of s--t." Elliott told host Marc Maron he "didn't like it anyway" but was especially bothered after seeing a review that described the movie as an "evisceration of the American myth," saying that as a star of Westerns, he thought, "What the f--k?" He also complained that the characters in the film looked like Chippendales dancers. 

"That's what all these f---ing cowboys in that movie looked like," Elliot claimed. "They're all running around in chaps and no shirts. There's all these allusions of homosexuality throughout the f---ing movie." Later, he bemoaned that "[Benedict] Cumberbatch never got out of his f---ing chaps," asking, "Where's the Western in this Western?" 

Maron pointed out "that's what the movie is about," as the film explores toxic masculinity and repressed homosexuality. But Elliott continued to rail against the film, asking of its director, Jane Campion, "What the f--k does this woman from New Zealand know about the American West? And why in the f--k did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say this is the way it was? So that f---ing rubbed me the wrong way." 

Elliott's comments quickly sparked criticism, and critics particularly dismissed his complaint about the film being shot in New Zealand. Fangoria editor-in-chief Phil Nobile Jr. tweeted, "I hope no one asks Sam Elliott — a brilliant actor, by the way, I love his work — about all those Westerns the Italians made."