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Oscar Nominees 2024: Killers of the Flower Moon

Updated: Mar 2

Killers of the Flower Moon is a movie that is based on a true story and directed by legend Martin Scorsese. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in the lead roles along with Robert De Niro being the heavy. While this is a good movie with great cinematography, authentic casting, and a good script, the ending could have been way better.


The Plot of Killers of the Flower Moon


The Plot revolves around the Osage Indians who found oil in North America and rose to wealth. The White populace, unable to see such progress of non-white folk decides to slowly kill off all the rich Osage Indians over a short period for the money. The portrayal is done well and is brutal, but to what end?



I didn't walk away with any redemptive arc or feeling of closure after I finished watching this movie. Killers of The Flower Moon would have been better if it was a short film with its current plot line.


The one thing that needed to be worked on was the plot - it was missing something crucial. It felt like the whole movie kept building up to something - with that annoying suspense music playing throughout the movie. But the payoff never came - no satisfactory explanation of the real events or even screen time. Would it have killed Martin to put in just a few more scenes in the end to show what happened to Molly?



I felt that Scorsese needed to talk more about what happened AFTER the Osage Indian Molly Burkhart exposed her husband. Scorsese probably got carried away with his work and fell in love with this so much that he forgot about the audience.


It has always been a thing that movies that highlight white guilt over exploitation tend to fare better at the Oscars. In the context of Indian Cinema, movies that show Indians as poverty-stricken and also with white directors seem to fare well. This has to change.


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Cast


The director is beyond reproach (talent-wise) along with most of the actors. Leonardo Di-Caprio gives a performance that he saves just for Scorsese. If you observe Leo in The Departed he is constantly in fear and paranoia and unsure of himself. In this movie, he plays the role of a drifter who is trying to settle down with dialed-down versions of being unsure and paranoid.



Lily Gladstone does a great job of portraying the stoic Molly Burkhart but seems to be sort of wasted in this role. But she reminds me of Alaqua Cox in Echo (although not as bad) where emotions are restricted to a few facial expressions only. The Movie Junkie was named an expert in an ApartmentGuide article. Check out the featured article: Get Ready to Roll Out the Red Carpet: How to Host an Oscars Party at Home | ApartmentGuide


Lily has done an amazing job with what little she has been given, penning her in as a stoic Osage Indian who wrestles, with sadness, anger and shock. I seriously feel this movie is not worthy of an Oscar for Best Movie.



Robert De Niro does a good job of portraying a morally bereft Sheriff's Deputy who would fit snugly into the 21st century without skipping a beat.


Brendan Fraser plays a great lawyer who is easy to hate, also Tantoo Cardinal who has acted in Echo plays Lizzie Q here - an Osage elder.



Cinematography


As you watch the movie and expect something legendary from Martin Scorsese you may overlook the amazing cinematography in this movie.


Wide shot of Molly and Ernest Burkhart in Killer of the Flower Moon

The wide shots are especially beautiful and breathtaking in the Killers of the Flower Moon.


Osage Indians in Killers of The Flower Moon

One of my favorite shots was that of the Osage Indians sitting and standing in the pattern of a lotus with the shot taken aerially. Might very well be a reference to the movie title.


Beautiful cinematography in Killers of The Flower Moon

You get to see Fairfax as it was in the years past.


Driving through oil fields in Killers of The Flower Moon

Also, there are quite a few brilliant shots that are well done.




Should You Watch It? Yes!


Being a Martin Scorsese movie and being a good one, it is worth a watch for sure. But do not expect a satisfactory ending. Watch it for the cinematography, Di Caprio and Gladstone's acting, and as the Iron Maiden song goes - The Evil That Men Do.


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