Apple TV+’s new movie Killers of the Flower Moon received a nine-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival Saturday. The film will not be released in the US until October, the perfect time to build Oscar buzz.
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Killers of the Flower Moon tells the story of the Osage Indian murders. In a bit of cosmic karma, Native Americans who had been forcibly relocated to a reservation in Oklahoma discovered oil reserves in 1897 and the Osage people grew wealthy. By the 1920s, that oil was increasingly valuable, and more than 60 Osage of all ages were murdered or died under mysterious circumstances, with their wealth inherited by white relatives or assigned guardians. Eventually, the FBI investigated.
Director Martin Scorsese tells the story from two perspectives: an overview of the history of the FBI, and a more intimate focus on two historical characters, Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his wife Mollie Kyle Burkhart (Lily Gladstone). This approach resulted in 206-minute movie– that’s three hours and 26 minutes long! The viewers at Cannes didn’t seem to mind. Killers of the Flower Moon certainly has star power. Besides DiCaprio and Gladstone, the cast includes Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow. Digg has a roundup of review highlights, with links to full reviews. DiCaprio and Gladstone are particularly singled out for praise.
Since the producers of Killers of the Flower Moon did not fictionalize the character’s names, reading the historical account of the Osage murders will reveal spoilers for the somewhat-mysterious teaser trailer, but it only made me want to see the movie more.