[The 2024 Oscars will take place on March 10, 2024. Until then, I’ll review as many Best Picture films as possible.]
In my film reviews, I start with the benchmark of five stars and then deduct half or one point if the film falls short in any of the following categories: · Storyline · Screenplay · Acting · Direction · Character Arcs
The reviews are my opinions alone.
"Killers of the Flower Moon" delves into a chilling chapter of American history, dramatizing the real-life Osage murders of the 1920s. Set against the oil-rich landscapes of Oklahoma, the film exposes the harrowing tale of greed, racial injustice, and the ruthless pursuit of wealth, leading to a series of brutal crimes against the Osage Nation.
The ensemble cast delivers compelling performances, with standout roles that bring depth and nuance to this complex narrative. Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in "Killers of the Flower Moon" is extraordinary, a consummate inhabitation of his character, Ernest Burkhart, a wicked, not-too-bright man. Lily Gladstone, as Mollie Kyle, is part Blackfeet and is garnering increasing attention for her understated but skillful acting. She won the Golden Globe award for Best Actress and is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.
Behind The Scenes
Directed by visionary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, "Killers of the Flower Moon" is based on a true story mirroring the tragic events in which the prosperity of a minority incited the envy and wrath of the dominant group, as in the Tulsa Race Massacre. The film's attention to historical detail and its faithful recreation of the period underscore the gravity of the injustices inflicted upon the Osage people.
While "Killers of the Flower Moon" is an exemplary piece of cinema, its pacing could benefit from tighter editing (as in the case of “Oppenheimer”). Though beautifully shot, certain scenes in Killers tend to linger longer than necessary. A more streamlined approach could enhance the storytelling without sacrificing the film's visual poetry and emotional depth. Nevertheless, this film will leave you deeply affected and shaken by the evil that men do.
Wrap-up and Rating
Screenplay: Excellent, but could be trimmed
Acting: Top tier, with a special nod to Leonardo DiCaprio
Character Arcs: Fulfilling and believable
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a beautifully executed exploration of a dark chapter in American history marked by stellar performances and impeccable direction. Despite its minor pacing issues, the film stands as a testament to the resilience of the Osage Nation and a poignant critique of the evils spawned by greed and racial prejudice.