Killers of the Flower Moon

  • USA Gray Horse (working title) (more)
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Based on David Grann’s broadly lauded best-selling book, Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. (Cannes Film Festival)

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English Crushing. It’s good to see in the context of today's times when it appears that no one plays a fair game and those who do are suffering the most. It's not at all enjoyable to watch, in fact it can only be endured because of Scorsese’s masterful work with the actors and his obvious desire to tell an important story. De Niro and DiCaprio are both excellent, and Lily Gladstone is Oscar-worthy. Too bad the people who should see it won't be the ones who will, because they won't be comfortable with the company they'll spend those three and a half hours in, since the main characters are a lazy invalid slacker with a weak will, a naive (though mostly sick) rich wife, and an egomaniac convinced of the righteousness of his actions. The common denominator is, of course, money. Yeah, I like money, almost as much as I like my wife. ()


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English Ugh, so bleak, yet such a great movie. I applaud that Martin Scorsese didn't just decide to set the book in motion this time, as he unfortunately did in Shutter Island, but that he decided to retell the story in his own way, so that those who know the source material can get something out of it. It's not surprising that he conceived the film as a gangster drama, a chilling study of how easily a man can be swallowed by evil if he doesn't fight back, and an indictment of the media's silence on the subject. Perfect choice. And how it's filmed! The ideas, the cold murder scenes that only Scorsese can make, the wonderful mystical scenes I wouldn't have expected from him… And then there's the acting. Leonardo DiCaprio acts and looks like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro straddles the line of caricature with clockwork precision and is clearly enjoying a proper role again, and Lily Gladstone, she matches them both with a single look that somehow manages to get everything into it. A true cinematic experience that deserves every one of those two hundred minutes. And with a perfect ending that few could afford. But Scorsese can. ()



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English Martin Scorsese and Eric Roth have taken a muddled, mediocre book and turned it into a great American novel in film form. Killers of the Flower Moon is a monumental, multi-voiced and timeless chronicle of the fall of a community whose lust for wealth is stronger than love, even though its members are aware that they are preparing the next generation for the future through their own behaviour. The film is dark and slow and feels longer than The Irishman, for example, but that length is justified, as it makes it possible for us to gradually get into that community and see at first hand how greed and cynicism gradually and inevitably spread to the country, become entrenched and consume the characters. Throughout the film, we find ourselves in close proximity to a confident and seemingly all-powerful, yet essentially banal and sometimes comically obtuse evil whose proper punishment seems rather unlikely, which is exactly as frustrating and exhausting as Scorsese most likely intended it to be. By comparison, the voice of goodness is weakened by sickness and the “medicine” administered, and it is limited to naming the one who died (which is something of a Scorsese trademark). Despite that – and thanks to the dignity that Lily Gladstone radiates – it has a central, evidentiary role in the narrative. Killers is primarily an indictment of the murderers whose existence should ideally have been erased from American history (because many still profit from their crimes to this day) and an emphatic demand to give back a sense of humanity to those whose lives were reduced to a few thousand dollars decades ago; the director’s closing cameo leaves us in no doubt about this. ___ Scorsese directs his lament with the surehandedness of a master. This time, he economises on the spectacular dolly and Steadicam shots, instead relying on the actors and Thelma Schoonmaker’s feel for rhythm. As a message about the substance of American capitalism, his plunge into the darkness could eventually become an equally essential work as Giant (1956), Once Upon a Time in the West, The Godfather and There Will Be Blood. At the same time, the intense hopelessness and the atmosphere of irreversible decline reminded me of Tárr’s films. No, that won’t come easy in the cinemas for this proof that you can still make your magnum opus in your seventies. 90% ()


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English At first glance, the same symptoms The Irishman had. In his latest films, Scorsese is no longer able to escalate, or at least keep the pace of the story and thus the viewer engaged. Add to that the monstrous running time and we have a problem. Although Killers of the Flower Moon has unquestionable narrative value, an artistic signature and dramatic ambition, those 200 minutes were for the most part plodding, despite the fact that DiCaprio and De Niro literally give an acting tour-de-force. ()


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English Fargo 1920. It's not riveting, but it's undeniably excellent. It feels like a miniseries accidentally put on in one piece, two and a half hours of taking its time with everything in style, and in the final hour, after a change of style, it's conversely stilted. One of those films that should have either been considerably shorter (and left out entire lines) or, conversely, considerably longer (and fully committed to each). ()

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