'Killers of the Flower Moon' Is A Tragic And Haunting True Story Brought To Life By Scorsese
By Dan Dubon | October 21, 2023
This movie was a true epic. Long and reaching, but paced well. Incredible performances and a truly tragic story of murder and systemic betrayal. Honestly, a great director doing true crime is the kind of thing that I like and this did not disappoint.
What I can't get away from with this movie is just how abhorrent these crimes were and Scorsese knows just how to depict them to make them a true gut punch but remain respectful to the victims. This isn't just murder, it's systemic genocide. There's not really a scene where everyone meets and plans this grand conspiracy. All the white men just kind of know what their end goal is and they befriend and marry these people just to treat them like livestock and use them for resource.
Lily Gladstone is going to be on every shortlist for acting awards this season and she absolutely deserves it. This whole movie is about terrible, awful things happening to her and her family and while we know who's doing it, we still feel her deep paranoia and mistrust. What an awful feeling that must be, to be afraid to eat in your own house and to look around one day and realize that half your community has been leading you to a slaughterhouse for money. Harrowing stuff and she puts it all on her shoulders.
It took me a minute to start getting on board with this movie. The marketing makes this seem like an investigative movie so I kept waiting for Plemons to show up, which happens at the two hour mark. But after seeing the whole picture, it's much more disturbing that we know what's happening the entire time. It's actually so refreshing when Plemons does show up and start asking simple questions like "You're telling me this man was married to your deceased sister, and two weeks later he married your other sister?"
It's crazy how brazenly and blatantly in public and daylight these crimes were carried out. All it took was for someone to be assigned to care to finally come around and put two and two together, and how quickly it all started unspooling as soon as that element was introduced to the county. What's depressing and far too real about this movie, though, is exactly what De Niro says “People will forget because no one cares.”
It's awful that things like this and the invoked Tulsa Massacre aren't taught anywhere and instead explored on podcasts by people who have to dig up this information. The ending really brought that home for me. New career highs for DiCaprio and De Niro as well. They do a great job here and depending on who you ask might even give career best performances and that’s saying a lot because their filmographies are insane. Lily Gladstone was really the true sole of this movie though and soon enough her name will be recognized everywhere. That’s how good she is here.
What are your thoughts?