Killers of the Flower Moon review: Scorsese’s monumental new…

Robert De Niro sits in a car and talks to Leonardo DiCaprio, who is leaning against the car.

flower moon killer

“Killers of the Flower Moon is an example of the aging master who dug a grave for his protest against crime with The Irishman.”


  • Scorsese in his brutal Irishman groove

  • DiCaprio as you’ve never seen him before

  • David Grann’s devastating history lesson comes to life


  • weak bladder will burst

  • short attention span will get lost

“Your killers come with a smile, they come as your friends.” so henry hill said goodfellas, right before one of those friends — played with an ill-intentioned tiger smile by Robert De Niro — tries to trick him into a one-way trip to Florida. Hill’s words of caution (a mouse’s guide to not getting eaten by other mice) echo through Martin Scorsese’s theory of greed, betrayal, and death. And they take on a fresh damaging historical context in the director’s monumental new film, flower moon killer, in which a series of murders in 1920s Oklahoma become a microcosm of America’s oldest project, its original sin: the genocide of the indigenous. Killers come here too with a smile. They come with the same smile.

This story is very, very true. Scorsese and his co-writer, Eric Roth, adapted it from David Grann’s 2017 book of the same name, a nonfiction page-turner that reads like crackerjack fiction. Quickly pulling you into a wide range of research with her crisp prose, Gran lays out the fortunes and misfortunes of the Osage Nation in the early 20th century, who became rich overnight from the discovery of oil, then turned to white interventionists. Followed by an endless parade of. Take away the money. As key members of the tribe began to die, it became clear that the strategy had gone beyond the worst legal maneuvering to cold-blooded murder.

Killers of the Flower Moon – Official Trailer

The plot would attract federal agents to Osage County, and J. This would lead to the first major case of Edgar Hoover’s recently formed FBI. Gran’s bestseller is largely built around that investigation, which was led by a one-time Texas Ranger named Tom White. White is also a character in the film – a stoic agent played by Jesse Plemons. But he is far from the central image, and is not visible for a long time. Scorsese and Roth applied a different structure to these events, abandoning the murder-mystery procedural angle in favor of something more intimate and singular: they reframed the story around the relationship between Molly Burkhart (Lily Gladstone) , whose Osage family is directly targeted by the killers, and World War I veteran Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), who starts out as her driver and then becomes her husband.

It is Ernest’s wealthy uncle, William King Hale (De Niro) – a “friend of the Osage” and an amiable white cattleman and philanthropist – who plays matchmaker. He posits the idea of ​​courtship during a long, propulsive conversation between two of Scorsese’s regular characters, one suppressing his inner Max Cady beneath a shimmering veneer of charming decency, the other playing it with greater intensity than usual. Ernest, we see immediately, is too stupid or too greedy or too lustful to realize that he is being gently pulled into something bigger than himself, something nefarious and far-reaching. He is being initiated into a plan.

Robert De Niro sits in a barber's chair and talks to Jesse Plemons while standing over him
Robert De Niro and Jesse Plemons Killers of the Flower Moon. Apple/Paramount / Apple/Paramount

That plan gradually unfolds, as Scorsese threads the romance of Ernest and Molly – who genuinely fall in love, against her better judgment and regardless of ulterior motives – starting with her sister’s disappearance. , through her growing fear of what is happening to her family, Anna (Cara Jade Myers). At over 200 minutes, flower moon killer It takes time, but does not drag. How could this be, when editor Thelma Schoonmaker was once again shaping the flowing path of a conspiratorial event like a river winding steadily and unstoppably across the open country? He and Scorsese tease out evil in a different way than Gran; Instead of presenting a series of shocking revelations, they make us aware of the dark motives and then see that they are being pursued almost casually by a growing group of lowlifes, the strumming of guitars constantly signaling danger.

Last but not least, basking in the allure of cowboy cinema (believe it or not, this is Marty’s first Western of sorts), Scorsese sketches the landscape from one end of the widescreen frame to the other, and sets his sights on a farm. The camera rotates and the cows are busy as far as the eye can see. But his perspective is not romantic. It glorifies neither the outlaw country, nor the federal agents who rule it: though 10-gallon lawman White and his crew eventually arrive to escort Wilde out West, they have to save the situation. it’s so late. If a lot of Westerners are really about the death of old America, flower moon killer Expands that mournful focus on the slow-moving genocide that has defined our country from the bitter beginning. The rituals of booking, opening and closing the film, make it clear where the film’s sympathies lie forever.

Molly – broken by mounting losses, sick with heartache and illness – is the film’s sorrowful conscience. Gladstone, who achieved success by playing a very vulnerable cowgirl in Kelly Reichardt’s film some women, cuts off the corrupt retard’s blabbering with a weary look. But just as history and scoundrels conspire to weaken Molly, the film strategically sidelines her. Those who objected to Anna Paquin’s silent testimony in Scorsese’s last film are similarly fatalistic Irishman, one could make similar complaints against any film that does not tell this story entirely or even primarily from the Osage vantage. It is possible to imagine another version of this, and more vividly, for an indigenous audience.

Lily Gladstone and a group of other women are sitting around a feast.
Lily in Gladstone Killers of the Flower Moon. Apple/Paramount / Apple/Paramount

Of course, one of the most intriguing things about Scorsese’s work is that the moral perspective often doesn’t belong to the central characters. He has always been fascinated by the weak and the guilty, and accused of glorifying scoundrels by getting into their minds and making films around their vices, their flaws, their mistakes. flower moon killer It’s classic Scorsese in that respect – and it’s a shape that adheres most clearly to the film’s familiar spats and lengthy final act of courtroom reckoning, making it a kissing cousin of the back-stabbing Stretch. goes. goodfellas And The Wolf of Wall Street, In other ways, it’s largely the aging guru who has dug a grave for anti-crime Irishman, He brings the same depth of detail, the same patient deliberation, and gently focuses on a set of violent histories that surround his guilt, in many senses of the word.

flower moon killer At last, a great sound of outrage is echoing in the void of Ernest Burckhardt, one of this director’s most pathetic, interesting specimens, a human jellyfish who partners in his complacency. DiCaprio, whose teeth have grayed and his intellect has dimmed like a dying light bulb, makes Ernest an ordinary man with simple desires without simplifying his inner contradictions. Can his love be true when he puts no barriers between her and unspeakable evil? In its quietly devastating final minutes, Scorsese has reduced the vast, unfathomable scope of his historical epic to a most disturbing portrait of moral cowardice. There is no sympathy for the devil here.

flower moon killer Will be released in theaters everywhere on Friday, October 20th and will come to Apple TV+ at a later date.

Leave a Comment