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Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon Is a Triumph

  

Category:  Entertainment

Via:  hallux  •  10 months ago  •  21 comments

By:   David Sims - The Atlantic

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon Is a Triumph
The highly anticipated adaptation of David Grann’s book is extraordinary filmmaking—and a big win for Apple TV+.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


David Grann’s  nonfiction book  Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI  is the sprawling story of a criminal investigation undoing a systemic evil. It lays out in riveting detail the mystery of the Osage murders of the 1920s, when dozens of Native Americans were killed in a grand conspiracy to exploit their oil-rich land. Grann digs into the societal phenomenon surrounding the Osage, many of whom became ultra-wealthy after generations of displacement and persecution. But the book’s through line is the federal investigator Tom White, who helped solve the murders on the orders of a young J. Edgar Hoover.

Martin Scorsese’s adaptation, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will be released in theaters this October, takes a very different narrative approach. White (played by Jesse Plemons) and his agents are characters in the movie, but Scorsese (who co-wrote the film with Eric Roth) focuses more on a particularly complex marriage explored tangentially in Grann’s book, between the chauffeur Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the Osage tribe member Mollie Burkhart (Lily Gladstone). Their seemingly loving partnership had nefarious underpinnings: in white landowners’ efforts to seize Native Americans’ rights and money.

The resulting story is extraordinarily told. It should certainly prove to be the splashiest cinematic release yet from Apple TV+, which co-produced the movie with Paramount Pictures. In funding a three-and-a-half-hour, Oscar-friendly epic, Apple is following in the footsteps of Netflix, whose own   Scorsese film   The Irishman   received 10 Oscar nominations and   a heap of press attention   in 2019. That project burnished the streamer’s reputation as a supporter of the kind of serious, big-budget dramas that “traditional” distributors have begun to balk at. But   Killers of the Flower Moon   will enjoy something that   The Irishman , beholden to   Netflix’s insistence on quick online rollouts , missed out on:   a wide theatrical release.

That’s a boon for theaters that remain starved of diverse storytelling in a post-COVID landscape dominated by financially safe sequels and franchise expansions, and other streamers should follow suit. It’s also just good news for movie lovers in general, who will get to see Scorsese’s dynamic visuals on the big screen. The gorgeously photographed film takes in rolling Oklahoma hills dotted with oil derricks, the bustling streets of the boomtown of Fairfax, and the enormous cattle ranch owned by the influential local businessman William Hale (Robert De Niro), who steers his nephew Ernest toward marrying Mollie, an heiress to an Osage fortune.

De Niro is magnificently unsettling in the film—it might be the best work he’s done with Scorsese since  Goodfellas —but the emotional powerhouses are DiCaprio and Gladstone. Their characters’ romance embodies the evil yet engrossing tragedy of the Osage murders far better than a procedural crime film ever could. DiCaprio plays Ernest as a charming, foolhardy hick; the World War I veteran beguiles Mollie with his unfettered lust for life. Gladstone, until now best known for her work in Kelly Reichardt’s film   Certain Women , is a stunning breakout here as the deeply independent Mollie, the real hero of a tale that is crawling with venal, misguided villains.

In  an interview  with  Deadline   previewing the movie, Scorsese explained why he shifted focus from Tom White and the Bureau of Investigation. Essentially, he didn’t want to make a movie about government cops riding to the rescue. “It was something we’ve seen before,” he said. “Look, the minute the FBI comes in, and you see a character that would be played by Robert De Niro, Bill Hale, you know he’s a bad guy. There’s no mystery. So, what is it? A police procedural? Who cares!” In prioritizing the story of Mollie, the corrupt Bill, and the complicit Ernest, Scorsese opts out of a heroes-versus-villains Western and offers a more modern American tragedy: that of the insidious colonial refusal to accept Native Americans’ own agency.

As such,  Killers of the Flower Moon   is of a piece with not only  The Irishman   but also Scorsese’s other recent film  Silence . These works have a much more melancholic energy than his baroque, frenzied prior efforts— The Wolf of Wall Street Shutter Island ,   and  The Departed . The 80-year-old director is undeniably in the twilight of his career—“I want to tell stories, and there’s no more time,” he told  Deadline . Fittingly,  Killers of the Flower Moon   is paced deliberately, almost like an elegy. It’s also one of the most rewarding projects of his long career, a sign that Scorsese has no intention of fading away—even as the film landscape transforms around him yet again.


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Hallux
Masters Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    10 months ago

Have not seen the film, alas Cannes is no longer in my pocket book (it never was) and I know nothing of the Osage debacle but then a Scorsese  film is always something to look forward too.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @1    10 months ago

This could be a blockbuster of a movie. Adapted from the book and with a great cast and director, filmed in Osage country and it is the birth of the FBI. Totally true to the Osage people and a true story.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Kavika @1.1    10 months ago
Totally true to the Osage people and a true story.

Glad to hear that!

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @1.1.1    10 months ago

There are many NA actors and all customs etc were overseen by the Osage advisers. DiCaprio and Scorsese spent a lot of time with the local Osage people away from the filming to learn more and  more about them as a people and their feeling about the movie and how it is being shown.

If the movie is half as good as the book, it will be a winner.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Kavika @1.1.2    10 months ago

You've got me drooling in anticipation.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @1.1.3    10 months ago

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
1.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @1.1    10 months ago

They showed a 2022 Bruce Willis movie on TV here recently, so the three year rule may no longer be followed here.  If that is true, I hope to get to see Killers of the Flower Moon while I'm still lucid.  Bruce Willis sure as hell wasn't lucid in the movie Gasoline Alley - he looked like and spoke (the few words he did speak) like a zombie in that movie.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
1.1.6  Ender  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.5    10 months ago

I don't think he is going to act anymore with his disease.

I read an article yesterday I thought was a little interesting. (sorry for being off topic Hallux)

It was about the death of old star Hollywood. Talked about how most of the stars at Cannes we older. Like Harrison Ford.

With the advent of streaming services and different production companies, movies and the actors are more separated into different areas that not all people have access too. Some are not even in theatres. So it is harder to have more of a national or international star with it all being watered down.

The ending premise was that there is not many if hardly any young and rising stars and why we are holding on to the stars we have left.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2  Ender    10 months ago

Supposedly this got like a nine minute standing ovation.

As much as it seems loved already I bet it gets Oscar nods.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  Kavika   replied to  Ender @2    10 months ago

No supposedly, Ender here is the video from the Screening at the Festival de Cannes.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     10 months ago

The video of the press conference had all the main actors, the director and the Heraditay Chief of the Osage, Chief Standing Bear. 

Each answered a question by the person heading the press conference, what Leonardo and Chief Standing Bear said had a great effect on not only the Osage people but all Native peoples.

 
 
 
Hallux
Masters Principal
3.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Kavika @3    10 months ago

Thank you Kavika, for not only being a champion for your people but also a champion for all people.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @3.1    10 months ago

...and a fantastic storyteller.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Silent
4  charger 383    10 months ago

according to a train fan site it has some good train pictures using  Virginia & Truckee locomotive number 29.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1  Kavika   replied to  charger 383 @4    10 months ago

That would be perfect circa 1920s

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
5  Perrie Halpern R.A.    10 months ago

I am so looking forward to seeing this movie. Some say it's the best picture of the year.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7  Kavika     10 months ago

How Martin Scorsese Involved the Osage Nation in ’Killers of the Flower Moon’s Creative Process

"Scorsese did come and meet privately with descendants like me and others to hear our concerns."

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
7.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @7    10 months ago

Good link.  Seeking out and doing the utmost for authenticity is a sea change from how natives were portrayed in classic movies.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1    10 months ago

I was very happy that Scorsese spoke directly to the people whose ancestors, only one generation away were murdered. Also how Scorsese used as many native/Osage for behind-the-camera work including regalia, painting etc. And how he basically rewrote the script to take the focus from the beginning of the FBI to the real story of the Osage.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
7.1.2  evilone  replied to  Kavika @7.1.1    10 months ago
I was very happy that Scorsese spoke directly to the people..

My wife was watching Antique Roadshow last night and I learned something interesting about the Wild West Shows that featured Buffalo Bill Cody and how the First Peoples were treated. I was quite surprised to hear they were paid the same as the other performers and traveled with their families. There were over one hundred Native American men, women and children with the show that were all fed 3 hot meals a day with the 25 cowboys and a dozen cowgirls. In total there were as many as 500 cast and crew that traveled with the show and expenses were as high at $4000 a day. The political arguments for the First Peoples were also featured in the printed programs. 

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
8  evilone    10 months ago

I've been looking forward to this movie since I first heard about it.

 
 

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