Killers of the Flower Moon
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro
Killers of the Flower Moon is a phenomenal historical drama from filmmaking legend Martin Scorsese.
Set in 1920s Oklahoma, Killers of the Flower Moon is about a series of murders committed upon the Osage Native American Nation over the rights to oil on their tribal lands.
Like Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon is very long (206 minutes) but deeply engaging. The costuming, set design and cinematography are exceptional, and the film has a potent atmosphere of charisma, conspiracy and matter-of-fact cruelty. The screenplay is extremely tight, with every detail returning meaningfully later on. Scorsese is a master of heavy silence and authentic, suspenseful slowness: slow but richly-detailed pacing that evokes a life unfolding, immersing you in its setting and the plight of its well-developed characters.
Killers of the Flower Moon is driven by three enthralling central performances. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a greedy, loyal man who loves his Osage wife and sincerely cares for her even as he commits increasingly heinous acts for his uncle. Lily Gladstone is remarkable as Ernest’s wife Molly, a strong, witty woman whose grief and wasting illness visibly eat away at her. Robert De Niro (in his tenth collaboration with Scorsese) is chilling as “King” Bill Hale: a warm, fatherly figure on the surface with a manipulative, ruthless nature.
I hesitate to call Killers of the Flower Moon better than Oppenheimer, but it is more accessible due to its smaller scale and more linear narrative.
A riveting, superbly-acted film that never wastes a moment in its three-plus hours, Killers of the Flower Moon is playing in most Victorian cinemas, and will eventually be released on Apple TV Plus.
– Seth Lukas Hynes