Guest Barbara VanDenburgh Stokes the Cinephile Hissy Fit Fires for The Power of the Dog

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Westerns tend to have a certain pep in their step. Slow burn cinema has a welcoming fog to its appeal. Combine the two together and you have intriguing artistic potential. During this current Academy Award season, Netflix’s The Power of the Dog has that very combination going for it and the accolades are piling up. On this week’s episode of the Cinephile Hissy Fit podcast, sponsored and supported by the Ruminations Radio Network, we’re bringing in a guest to talk about this top Oscar frontrunner.

For their 45th episode, 25YL film critics, ranching dads, and paper flower-folding school teachers Will Johnson and Don Shanahan engage in a rodeo of wits and words with special guest Barbara VanDenburgh of USA Today to poke around all the fires started The Power of the Dog. Jane Campion’s ensemble drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kristen Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Jesse Plemons has us split in many directions, making for an impassioned episode and one of the show’s best yet. Put on your chaps and start braiding your own rope.


Barbara VanDenburgh of USA Today

When her nose isn’t stuck in a book or her eyes glued to a movie, Barbara VanDenburgh works as the books editor for USA TODAY and hosts the First Draft Book Club at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, AZ.

Cinephile Hissy Fits is a 25YL media podcast, brought to you by Please visit, rate, review, and subscribe. If you enjoyed this show, we have more where that came from, with interesting hosts, and wonderful guests. All of our episodes are available on iTunesSpotify, and anywhere you find your favorite shows. Follow the show on Twitter at @CinephileFit and on Facebook. Also, find both Will Johnson and Don Shanahan on Letterboxd as they accumulate their viewings and build their ranks and lists from The Power of the Dog and beyond.

As Will and Don love to say, come for the shared challenge and tirade and stay for the mutual love and respect for the fun movies encapsulate. Thank you so much for your captive audience and social media participation! Enjoy our new podcast episode!

The Power of the Dog (2021)

Listen to this episode from Cinephile Hissy Fit on Spotify. For their 45th episode, 25YL film critics, ranching dads, and paper flower-folding school teachers Will Johnson and Don Shanahan saddle up on the Academy Award trail with special guest Barbara VanDenburgh of USA TODAY to poke around all the fires starting by Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog.”


Written by Don Shanahan

DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based Rotten Tomatoes-approved and Banana Meter-approved film critic writing here on 25YL Media and his own website Every Movie Has a Lesson. He is also one of the hosts of the 25YL-backed Cinephile Hissy Fit Podcast on the Ruminations Radio Network. As a school educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Indie Critics and a voting member of the nationally-recognized Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, Online Film Critics Society, Internet Film Critics Society, Independent Film Critics of America, and the Celebrity Movie Awards.

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