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Erik at the Movies: Killers of the Flower Moon


Killers Of The Flower Moon   (2023)

“When this money start comin’ we shoulda known it came with something else. They’re like buzzards circling our people”.

The history of the Osage Nation / ͘ is quite unique and fascinating. Like so many other Native Americans, they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands and shoved onto reservations in the Oklahoma Territory. However, they struck black gold and found themselves with exclusive jurisdiction of one of the largest untapped oil reserves in the nation, quickly becoming the wealthiest people per capita in the entire world. This naturally led to many people immigrating to Osage county for work, and many of them married into their ranks, but all was not quite so loving, as many of the Osage were murdered in a scheme to control their head rights to the oil profits.

This true story focuses on the life of one Ernest Burkhart (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who came to Osage County on the advice of his uncle, William “King” Hill (played by Robert De Niro), who devised this plan to systematically slaughter these people just so that they can enrich themselves off of this “blood money”. Ernst then falls in love with an Osage woman named Mollie (played brilliantly by the newcomer Lily Gladstone) and raises a family with her while proceeding to participate in the killings of everyone else she holds dear.

But then, in one of the first ever major cases they were involved in, the FBI proceeds to investigate and everything comes crashing down. The production design is simply stunning, bringing a massive sense of scale and granular detail to the 1920’s setting that took my breath away on several occasions.

The standout performance of the movie does not belong to DiCaprio or De Nero, but to Lily Gladstone, who delivers a quiet, but powerful performance that will no doubt have her in the running for Best Actress.

The rest of the supporting cast is also excellent, with Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow, and Brenden Fraser all having their moments.

The direction by Martin Scorcese is as excellent as always, with this being one of his most triumphant achievements yet.

While there has been some discussion about its nearly 3½ hour runtime, I personally felt like it used its time well and kept my attention throughout.

The ending was both completely out of left field, and utterly devastating to behold, once again emphasizing that these were real people with real blood on their hands.

This is one of the most important films of the year, and I truly feel that more people should learn about this tragic part of our nation’s past.

Erik’s Rating: 9/10

-Killers Of The Flower Moon is currently playing in theaters, and will eventually be streaming on Apple TV+.

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Erik Larson
Erik Larson, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Erik Larson and I am currently a staff writer at The Ville who specializes in reviewing the latest and greatest in film. In the words of game director Hideo Kojima: “70% of my body is made of movies.” You can find more of my movie reviews here at my Letterboxd: https://boxd.it/4N1v5

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