LFF 2023: Killers of the Flower Moon

LFF 2023: Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon never really manages to show the Osage People in all their majesty. It is visually stunning, well directed, acted, and has some incredible lines of dialogue but it always feels as if we are just observing.

Killers of the Flower Moon shines a light on an absolutely shocking and until now, largely forgotten piece of American history. The systematic murder of the Osage people for their land. They became very wealthy due to the oil buried under the land they were moved to. Yet, how they obtained and crucially, kept hold of it, was never fully explained in the film nor why they needed white male guardians to help them spend their money. The racism directed at the Osage is never shied away from. There’s an excellent scene between Lily Gladstone’s character and Leonardo Di Caprio in which he asks her what colour her skin is. She responds; my colour.

Scorsese’s choice to focus on the murderers and their motivation at times gives these men a bit too much humanity, and much more than they deserved. Lily Gladstone deserves all the accolades. She is luminous on screen despite the fact for the last third she is just shown writhing in bed near to death.

I wasn’t bored whilst watching this film but it did feel long. I think this is largely because the film lost its way in the middle. The ending was good.


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