Review: Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog is a film you'll never forget

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion already has one Oscar on her mantlepiece and may well be heading for another with her latest film, The Power of the Dog.

Headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst and shot in the South Island, the film has just landed in local cinemas.

There's cinematic storytelling and there's poetry. At their intersection always is Jane Campion.

Based on the Thomas Savage novel, set in 1920s Montana, the Burbank brothers Phil and George work their isolated family ranch day-in-day-out. You couldn't find two different men.

When George very suddenly marries a local widow, her arrival at their homestead, along with her son Peter, will throw the long-hewn equilibrium of the ranch into dark disarray, the menacing malicious poisonous presence of Phil Burbank seeps into every moment.

As he circles Peter, one of the most fascinating, surprising and satisfying characters ever brought to the screen, their relationship slowly shifts. But where it takes them and of course us as viewers, is nothing short of stunning.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee are phenomenal, delivering entirely on the haunting, mesmerizing heart of this story. Everything from the art department to the costuming is flawless.

See this on the big screen if you're lucky enough then Netflix next month. But however you see it, you will never forget it.

Five stars.