Johnny Greenwood Scores ‘The Power of the Dog’


On December 1, Netflix will release Jane Campion’s much anticipated western The Power of the Dog and—hide the razorblades—Johnny Greenwood wrote the score.

This film is almost definitely awesome, but expect to feel a bit sad here and there. The Power of the Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch as some sort of cowboy arsehole, Kirsten Dunst as ‘Rose’ and Jesse Plemons as a skinny chap who makes paper roses and gets bullied a lot. According to the film’s synopsis, The Power of the Dog tells the story of charismatic rancher Phil Burbank (Cumberbatch), who ‘inspires fear and awe in those around him.’ When his brother brings home a new wife (Dunst) and her son (Plemons), Phil torments them until he finds himself ‘exposed to the possibility of love.’

Said Johnny Greenwood of his approach to composing the film’s score: ‘The main thought I kept returning to was that this film is set in the modern era. It’s too easy to assume any cowboy story takes place in the 19th century. There is so much culture in Phil’s character. He’s well-read and it isn’t hard to imagine his taste in music being—alongside his proficiency on the banjo—very sophisticated. The pleasure in a character this complex and emotionally pent-up is that it allows for complexity in some of the music, as well as simpler, sweeter things for his contrasting brother. Bouncing between these two characters, musically, generated a lot of ideas.’ Check the trailer above and the soundtrack below, have a cry and then get some lunch.

Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter