The Power Of The Dog Won Best Director At The Oscars - And Nothing Else

Jane Campion's Montana-set drama "The Power of The Dog" has been grabbing awards an accolades left and right. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch in his career-best performance as a threatening rancher with an intimate secret, the critically-acclaimed Netflix film earned a staggering 12 nominations for the 94th Academy Awards, including four in the acting categories for Cumberbatch, Kristen Dunst, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, and Jesse Plemons. The film also earned nods in the Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Best Director categories, among others.

Despite making history and leading with the most number of nominations at the Oscars this year, "The Power of the Dog" only won one prize: Best Director for Jane Campion. The New Zealand filmmaker has made history by becoming the first woman to have been nominated twice in the category — Campion was previously nominated for "The Piano" (1993) — and despite not winning best director, at the time, she received the Oscar for "Best Original Screenplay."

This year marks the first time two women have won the "Best Director" prize two years in a row, with Chloé Zhao having won the Oscar for "Nomadland" back in 2021. Despite being nominated in 12 categories, and being surrounded by Oscar-buzz since its release, "The Power of the Dog" took home a single trophy, which has been surprising, to say the least.

The first film in 55 years to win only "Best Director"

"The Power of the Dog" took home one out of 12 possible Academy Awards on Sunday night, making it the second film in Oscars history to win "Best Director" and no other awards (the other is "The Graduate"). Here's another interesting piece of trivia: It is the second film after Peter Glenville's 1964 historical drama "Becket" to earn 12 Oscar nominations — and win only one. How mind-boggling is that?

Jane Campion's adaptation of author Thomas Savage's 1967 novel of the same name tells the story about cowboy brothers and their resulting fallout when one of them marries a young widow that he doesn't seem to aprove. In the film, Campion builds a meticulous, fully-realized world that progresses at a suspenseful pace, and features characters that can be both brutal and beguiling.

The filmmaker had already won a bunch of awards for the film, which has unquestionably dominated the rest of awards season. In addition to beating out Kenneth Branagh ("Belfast"), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi ("Drive My Car"), Paul Thomas Anderson ("Licorice Pizza"), and Steven Spielberg ("West Side Story") for the coveted Best Director prize at te Oscars, "The Power of the Dog" brought home best director for Campion at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs (where it also won Best Picture), and the Directors Guild of America awards. Before all that, the Netflix movie had its world premiere at the 78th International Venice Film Festival, where Campion took home the Silver Lion prize for best director and received a four-minute standing ovation (via Variety). 

"The Power of the Dog" was Netflix's best opportunity yet to win a "Best Picture" prize since ​​Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma," which won three Academy Awards in 2018. Instead, Apple TV+ became the first streaming service to take home Hollywood's most significant award, with "CODA" emerging as the winner for Best Picture. Better luck next year, Netflix.