The winning formula of Scorsese, DiCaprio and De Niro evident in this heartbreaking true story
Film review: Killers of the Flower Moon (15)
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Leonardo Di Caprio, Lily Gladstone and Brendan Fraser
Director: Martin Scorses Run time: Three hours, 26 minutes
Veteran director Martin Scorsese is showing no signs of slowing down or, indeed, losing his Midas touch.
The 80-year-old, who is behind such masterpieces as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Wolf of Wall Street, has hit the jackpot again with yet another superb film.
This sprawling, epic, historic true story weighs in at just short of three and a half hours, and not a minute of it is wasted.
That’s probably because it tells a compelling and horrifying true story and stars two of the finest actors of this and any generation in Robert De Niro, himself also 80, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The two are on top form, De Niro at his menacing best as the ‘wolf in sheep’s-clothing’ William Hale, and DiCaprio turning in one of his best ever performances as Hale’s good-looking but simple nephew Ernest Burkhart.
They are backed up superbly by Lily Gladstone, serene and strong as Ernest’s Native American wife Mollie, and Jesse Plemons as FBI agent Tom White.
The story is a true one and indicative of what happened to dozens of Osage Nation families in early 20th Century United States.
The Osage, displaced to a barren stretch of Oklahoma by the federal government, stumbled upon oil and became some of the wealthiest people in the world.
But the rags-to-riches story soon turned to tragedy when unscrupulous white Americans married into Osage families before murdering their way into the headrights (oil rights), often with the help of corrupt doctors, morticians and lawmen.
Although heartbreaking at times, the story is beautifully and sensitively told, with an original ending starring Scorsese himself, which ties things up superbly and demonstrates how, even after the tragedy, white Americans focused on the success of the FBI.
This is the 10th time Scorsese has worked with De Niro and the sixth with DiCaprio. Talk about winning formulas.