Film Review: Killers of the Flower Moon
Film Offers Different Perspective From Popular Book
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 4:55pm
Courtesy Sikelia Productions and Appian Way Productions
Martin Scorsese's new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, is a sprawling epic about the serial murder of Osage Nation members in 1920s Oklahoma. The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name by David Grann, and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone.
I read this book back in 2019. I thought it was an excellent book and I thought then that it should be a movie.
The film's acting is top-notch, with all three leads delivering excellent performances. Gladstone is particularly impressive, holding her own against the more established DiCaprio and De Niro. However, the film's story is told from a different perspective than the book, which is something that I was disappointed by and may irritate some readers.
The book focuses on the FBI investigation into the Osage murders, while the film focuses more on the impact of the murders on the Osage Nation itself. This shift in perspective allows Scorsese to explore the broader themes of greed, corruption, and violence that underlie the story.
One of the benefits of this shift in perspective is that it allows the audience to see the incredible scale of what was happening to the Osage Nation. The film shows how the Osage people were systematically exploited and murdered, often with the complicity of the government.
An essential result of this shift in perspective is that it allows Scorsese to turn the story from an investigative story into one of his gangster films. The film features all of the hallmarks of a Scorsese gangster film: violence, corruption, and a sense of impending doom.
This is an awful story. But one thing I do like about it is the fact that they all got caught in the end. There were so many people involved in this crime that once somebody started to really look at what was happening threads unraveled everywhere. I am reminded of the Biblical passage "be sure your sin will find you out."
The makeup team needs to be commended on the fact that they turned Leonardo DiCaprio unattractive.
I strongly suspect that this movie will be in the Oscar conversation over the next few months.
Overall, Killers of the Flower Moon is a well-made and thought-provoking film. It is 3 & 1/2 hours long, and is not without its flaws, but if you are a fan of Scorsese and Westerns, I recommend it.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Killers of the Flower Moon is presently screening at the Regal Cinemas 12 in Lake Wales.