Film Review: Killers of the Flower Moon 花月殺手 (2023) USA 🇺🇸
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)
Martin Scorsese once again created a masterclass of an epic film clocking over 200 minutes and yet there is not a moment to spare. “Killers of the Flower Moon” is the kind of classic, simple yet beautiful cinema that we used to see in the 70s Hollywood. Merge in the mix is the important real events of the 1920s Osage Murders where oil rich Native Americans are being murdered, killed and bombed one by one, so that the Whites can take their money as inheritance through an elaborated marriage fraud and scam. This powerful film is not only extraordinary, but Scorsese shows how he is better with age and the film feels like a good old whisky drowning down your throat with each slip and with lasting legs as well.
Leonardo DiCaprio gets the most juicy role yet as the tragic character with an edge of everything. He is probably also the most human character you can relate to and yet he is intertwined with all the evils of humanity. Working for his uncle played by the evergreen Robert De Niro whose presence alone adds layers to the established characters and crime lord of the region, known simply as “King”. Lily Gladstone is simply outstanding as Mollie, the full blooded Osage Native American who takes on DiCaprio as her husband. From there everyone suffers a slow or quick death both literally depicted on-screen as just another happening. That’s so true to the events of the time as a death to native Americans often becomes “not investigated” properly.
All in all, “Killers of the Flower Moon” works best when the story and happenings are allowed to play out itself and Scorsese is a master of this classic cinematic technique. His films are beautiful scoped, framed and scored all in cinematic motion that is beautiful to watch. With the Oscar season starting, this film will probably shoot to the top of nominations for most categories including acting and directing nods. Running at over 200 minutes, the film is a must watch for all cinema lovers and an epic experience that stays with you long after it is over.
I rated it 10/10