- Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser
- October 20th 2023
- Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese’s latest epic follows the murders of the Osage Nation tribespeople after they find oil on their land.
Martin Scorsese reunites with his regular collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro for his latest, Killers of the Flower Moon.
The movie, based on the non-fiction book by David Grann, is set in Osage County in Oklahoma in the 1920s. After members of the Osage Nation tribe discover oil on their land, they become very rich and more powerful than their white neighbours. After they start being killed, the FBI sends agent Tom White (Jesse Plemons) to investigate the murders.
Grann’s book focused on White’s investigation, however, Scorsese and his co-writer Eric Roth decided to flip the perspective and centre the story upon wealthy Native American Molly (Lily Gladstone), her husband Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio) and his uncle Bill Hale (De Niro).
This was the correct decision because an indigenous character should be at the centre of a story about a real spate of killings among their tribe. However, this switch removes the whodunnit narrative because the audience already knows who the perpetrators are before White shows up in Oklahoma.
The biggest issue with Killers of the Flower Moon is the runtime. At three hours and 26 minutes, the film is excessively long. Yes, there is a lot of story to tell, plenty of context to pack in and characters to introduce, but it could have easily been an hour shorter.
However, because of its epic duration, we become fully immersed in the Osage Nation community and have a greater understanding of the dynamics between the indigenous and white people at that time.
The final hour is where Scorsese truly packs a punch. If you stick with it, your patience will be rewarded with a tense, gripping final act and a memorable ending and epilogue.
DiCaprio and De Niro are excellent here but the real revelation is Gladstone. She is magnetic on-screen because her character is mysterious and guarded. She doesn’t speak much but she makes her words matter.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a rich, compelling thriller that would have been more enjoyable if it was at least 30 minutes shorter.
In cinemas Friday 20th October.
© Cover Media