When oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one—until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery.
INT. GANGSTERS IN OKLAHOMA - DAY Film students, film lovers, cinema-goers, and reviewers rejoice! Martin Scorsese's latest film is excellent! The Irishman might have been his last 'gangster' film. Still, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, Killers of the Flower Moon might not be a gangster film, but there are many 'mob' elements within it. The biggest fear people had going into this film was the runtime. Weeks before the release, speculations came out about the length of this film. I saw an article stating it would be 4 hours long! Alas, it's only 206 minutes long, not even coming close to the longest film here at Cannes. I can confirm that the film never drags its feet for too long; there are times when it slows down, but this is only during the film's opening hour. Thankfully it quickly picks up the pace and goes by fast once the whole ensemble is introduced. Jesse Plemons is a late bloomer in the film, only being introduced 2 hours in; as I said, this is where the film starts moving. The story is simple: During the 1920s, oil was discovered on Osage Nation Land. Turning them into the richest people per capita in the world! Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) returns to work for his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro). Ernest meets Mollie (Lily Gladstone), and they marry. However, slowly many of Mollie's friends and family are murdered, with those who married into the family taking ownership of the land—eventually, the FBI steps in to investigate. Lily and Leo have excellent on-screen chemistry, with Lily performing phenomenally. I hear talks about the Oscars for her, which is entirely valid. De Niro steals many of the scenes he's in, often providing the most laughs. He is ultimately the most 'mob-like character within the film, never pulling the trigger but commanding the troops. Jesse Plemons is the final major character within the story as Tom White. Unfortunately, Plemon's isn't that interesting; I wonder if Plemons wasn't given much direction or if he decided to make the character this way. Still, White moves from scene to scene without much interest. He's just there, leading the FBI but never being an individual; I didn't remember his name after the film; I just referred to him as 'FBI guy.' Technically, Killers of the Flower Moon is a marvel (Not that Scorsese would like me saying the word 'Marvel'), but just like all of his films, everything is great. Nothing stands out as 'excellent'; the score, editing and cinematography are at the level you'd expect from the mind of Scorsese. This leads me to my final thoughts on the film; recently, Martin has been talking about his age and his ability to make films like he used to. Scorsese is 80 years old and doesn't believe he has the same drive as Ridley Scott. Suppose this is to be his final film. In that case, I'd be happy knowing it's not a significant departure from what made him the famed director but a story worth telling from a creator who will continue to be studied and praised for the next many decades. FADE OUT.
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://fandomwire.com/killers-of-the-flower-moon-review-a-work-of-art/ "Killers of the Flower Moon is a remarkable cinematic feat by the master Martin Scorsese, with exceptional contributions from Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, as well as a striking, breakthrough performance by Lily Gladstone. It unveils a harrowing narrative that prompts deep, poignant reflection on the past and present. Technically, all departments shine, but Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing is simply flawless. The commitment to authenticity and the use of the Osage language are commendable additional traits. The final sequence is one of the most powerful conclusions in recent years, a memorable, thought-provoking commentary on the desensitization of modern entertainment. A must-watch!" Rating: A-
First things first. There is absolutely no need for this to be 3½ hours long. It follows the story of the ambitious "Ernest" (Leonardo DiCaprio) who arrives at the Osage home of his venal uncle "King" (Robert De Niro) who encourages him to ingratiate himself with the wealthy, indigenous, population. He ends up meeting and driving the independent, no-nonsense, "Mollie" (Lily Gladstone) and after a while she starts to fall for his charismatic charms, they fall in love and marry. Though he does love his wife, "Ernest" proves to be a rather fickle and violent man who loves money more - and at the behest of his outwardly benign relative starts to implement schemes that will ensure the rights to the oil well heads move swiftly - and frequently brutally - to more "suitable" owners. This sudden spate of "accidents" and killings and the prudent action of the fearful local council alert the authorities in Washington who despatch a team of FBI agents led by the tenacious "White" (Jesse Plemons) to get to the bottom of things. Perhaps the "King" house of cards might now be becoming just a but precarious? DiCaprio is very effective here. He plays well a man who juggles internal demons and conflicts as he is cleverly manipulated by an on-form, slightly menacing, De Niro. It's Gladstone who steals the show for me, though. She plays the role of the decent and loving - but shrewd and savvy - "Mollie" strongly. As she starts to become a victim of her husband's avarice she exudes a sense of desperation that is both pleading and dignified and her struggle is potently illustrative of just how far the "white" man was prepared to go to get to - and keep - the money. The film is beautifully shot with a plausible look that helps generate for the audience a true sense of just how this outwardly genteel and civilised society was really anything but and the writing clearly interweaves the clandestine aspects of the the plot with the more noble ones. Perhaps sacrilegious to say, though, but at times it does really drag. I felt it could easily have lost an hour, condensed the story and immersed us more quickly in the characterisations and not really suffered. It's a good film, but it's not a great film and unlike Scorsese's far better "Irishman" (2019), I'm not at all sure I will rush to watch it again.
I have issues with the decisions both Roth and Scorsese made when adapting the source material, but I’m still so happy this exists. Martin Scorsese has made sure that this American tragedy will never be forgotten.
While beautifully mounted, scored and acted, Martin Scorsese’s latest feature, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, suffers by failing to provide motivations for its characters. For full review, visit: https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/killers-of-the-flower-moon-movie-review-martin-scorseses-slow-burn-look-at-the-troubling-birth-of-enterprise-is-frustratingly-opaque/article67465885.ece