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Killers of the Flower Moon


Year: 2023 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: Unknown 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Martin Scorcese 
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone  
An image from Killers of the Flower Moon

He may have already reached his 80th year, but the ever-evolving Martin Scorsese shows no signs of letting up. 2019 saw Netflix funding help the great man compose a 200-minute epic of sombre melancholy and mob violence: that was The Irishman, a gangster picture with a new, unexpected grandeur. With backing from Apple this time, the streaming giants haven’t quelled Scorsese’s unending ambassadorship for cinema as an experience–he returns with another founding American myth whose ambition (and running time) feels only right on the big screen. Here, he has amassed his very own multiverse of madness, working once again with Leonardo DiCaprio (for the sixth time) and Robert De Niro (tenth!) on a story adapted from David Grann’s true-crime bestseller set in 1920s Oklahoma. As with so many stories from US history, it comes down to the power of land ownership; inevitably, where there is oil, there will soon be blood. Lily Gladstone has rocketed to acclaim as Mollie Burkhart, a member of the native Osage tribe who stumbles upon a deep source of accessible oil in their fields. In fact, they have become the richest per capita in the world, and yet remain caught in demeaning, racist laws requiring white ‘guardians’ to claim their money. So while bullish cattleman Hale (De Niro) sees the advantage of manoeuvring his newly arrived veteran nephew Ernest (DiCaprio) into a marriage with Mollie, a series of tribesfolk have been mysteriously dying from various illnesses - Mollie’s family in particular. Filmed in rich sepia tones by Rodrigo Prieto fresh off of Barbie, Scorsese has managed another epic of quiet rage at the venal origins of modern America, alongside Gangs of New York or even The Wolf of Wall Street. Part mystery, part political thriller, part historical eye-opener… if anyone is able to make a film that propels you through three hours with barely a blink, it’s Marty!

Max King

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Autumn Term (digital)