I wasn’t sure how I felt about Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio teaming up to bring David Grann’s powerful Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI to the screen when it was first announced. It’s not that I don’t trust Scorsese, but it doesn’t feel like it’s their story to tell. There are a number of successful projects these days highlighting the work of Native American artists and creators, so maybe it’s their story to tell. As much as Gann’s book is about the undercover agents sent by the nascent FBI to infiltrate the Oklahoma town where this series of deadly events occurred, it’s also about Mollie Burkhart, who witnessed her family and members of her Osage tribe being killed. When Leo is in a movie, the movie tends to revolve around him. I’m not particularly thrilled about the focus here. Nevertheless, damn, it looks like it’s going to keep my attention anyway.
It seems like Eric Roth and Scorsese’s screenplay took some lessons from last year’s Under The Banner Of Heaven, framing the events of the True Crime book around a narrative to give the story more color. I enjoyed Under The Banner Of Heaven. The concept for the series made it more appealing to audiences who may have otherwise skipped the book entirely. It would be great if Scorsese can do the same here, continuing the exploration of how Native Americans were treated after the age of Manifest Destiny.
Killers Of The Flower Moon stars Lily Gladstone, Tantoo Cardinal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro. Jesse Plemons, and Brendan Fraser. It will be in theaters on October 6.