Killers of the Flower Moon is a 2023 American epic revisionist Western crime drama film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, who co-wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth, based on the 2017 book of the same name by David Grann1. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone as the main characters involved in a series of murders of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s, after oil was discovered on their land1. The film is a gripping and tragic tale of greed, racism, and injustice, that also explores the origins of the FBI and the role of J. Edgar Hoover2. Here are some reasons why you should watch this film:
The Real Story behind the Film
The film is based on a meticulously researched book by David Grann, a journalist who uncovered the shocking extent of the Osage Reign of Terror, which claimed the lives of more than 60 Osage people between 1921 and 19263. Grann also revealed how many of the murders were orchestrated by William Hale, a white businessman who befriended and married into the Osage family, and who was later convicted of masterminding the killing of his nephew’s wife, Mollie Burkhart3. The film faithfully follows the book’s narrative and exposes the conspiracy and corruption that plagued the investigation and prosecution of the crimes4.
The Dream Cast & Crew
The film showcases the talents of some of the best actors and filmmakers in Hollywood. Killers of the Flower Moon marks the sixth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio, and the tenth between Scorsese and De Niro1. The film also features a stellar supporting cast, including Jesse Plemons, Tantoo Cardinal, John Lithgow, and Brendan Fraser1. The film is shot by Rodrigo Prieto, edited by Thelma Schoonmaker, and scored by Robbie Robertson, all longtime collaborators of Scorsese1. The film also boasts impressive production values, with a budget of $200 million, making it one of the most expensive films ever made in Oklahoma5.
Osage Culture & History
The film pays respect to the Osage Nation, who granted permission for the filming to take place on their land and who consulted with the filmmakers on various aspects of the production. The film also features several Osage actors and extras, who speak their native language and wear authentic costumes and accessories. The film depicts the Osage as a proud and resilient people, who endured unimaginable hardships and fought for their rights and dignity.
Rich Production Value
Killers of the Flower Moon is one of Scorsese’s most expensive films ever made, with a budget of $200 million5. This makes it more costly than his previous films such as The Irishman ($159 million), Hugo ($170 million), The Aviator ($110 million), or The Wolf of Wall Street ($100 million)6. The film uses its budget to create a stunning recreation of 1920s Oklahoma, with elaborate sets, costumes, props, and visual effects. The film also employs state-of-the-art de-aging technology to make DiCaprio and De Niro look younger in some scenes.
Critics & Audience Response from Venice with a Standing Ovation
Killers of the Flower Moon premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2023, where it received a standing ovation and rave reviews from critics. The film was praised for its direction, performances, cinematography, editing, music, and historical accuracy. The film currently holds a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 212 reviews7. The film also won several awards at other festivals, such as Best Film at the New York Film Festival8, Best Director at the London Film Festival9, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a film that deserves your attention and admiration. It is a powerful and compelling story that will make you think, feel, and learn. It is a film that honors the memory of the victims and celebrates the spirit of the survivors. It is a film that you should watch.