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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

🏆 Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) - Echoes of the Osage: A Tale of Greed and Injustice

Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 stars)

Released 10-20-2023

Watched 01-26-2024

Reviewed 01-30-2024

Watched on Apple TV+

"I do love that money, Sir."

"Killers of the Flower Moon," directed by the esteemed Martin Scorsese, is a compelling adaptation of David Grann's 2017 non-fiction book "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." Set against the backdrop of 1920s Oklahoma, the film delves into the chilling narrative of the Osage Nation murders, a dark chapter in American history where greed and racial injustice culminated in a series of heinous crimes against the Osage people following the discovery of oil on their land.

With a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, the film boasts powerful performances that bring depth and emotion to this tragic story. DiCaprio and De Niro, under Scorsese's direction, continue their legacy of cinematic excellence, while Gladstone's portrayal is particularly noteworthy, earning her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The ensemble, including Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, and Brendan Fraser, complements the leads, creating a rich tapestry of characters that enhance the narrative's complexity and emotional impact.

Scorsese's direction is meticulous, showcasing his signature attention to detail and his ability to weave complex narratives with emotional depth. The film's cinematography and period-accurate set design immerse viewers in the 1920s setting while the storyline confronts the harrowing realities of racial injustice and exploitation.

However, the film's ambitious scope is both its strength and its weakness. At 3.5 hours, the runtime is daunting, and there are moments where the pacing could have been tightened to maintain narrative momentum. While the detailed portrayal ensures a thorough exploration of the events and their implications, a more streamlined approach might have kept the audience more consistently engaged.

Despite this, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is a significant cinematic achievement. It's a film that not only entertains but also educates, shedding light on a lesser-known historical atrocity. The film's ten Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, are a testament to its quality and the impact it has had on audiences and critics alike.

In summary, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is a powerful, if slightly overlong, exploration of one of America's many historical injustices. Scorsese's skillful direction, combined with stellar performances and a poignant narrative, make this film a must-watch, albeit with the caveat of its extensive runtime. It's a cinematic journey that's both enlightening and emotionally stirring, reaffirming Scorsese's status as one of the great storytellers of our time.


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