‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Launches Oscar Campaign at Cannes – IndieWire

The hot ticket at Cannes — Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour opus Killers of the Flower Moon , adapted by the director and Eric Roth from David Grann’s 2017 non-fiction bestseller — premiered at the New ahead of Saturday’s festival premiere. York and Los Angeles to give critics a head start in writing their reviews. It’s clear why Apple won’t play the film in the Competition: it’s getting a lot of reactions.

The lavishly produced, $200 million Western crime saga takes the viewer to Oklahoma in the 1920s, where huge oil fields brought enormous wealth to the Osage nation. While Grann’s book focuses on the procedural aspects of solving a reign of terror that has led to the deaths of dozens of mysterious Osage, Scorsese and Roth create a three-hander centered on an uncle and nephew played by Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio (Scorsese). regulars reunited with their favorite director for the first time) and Native American actress Lily Gladstone (Kelly Reichardt’s “Certain Women”), Ernest Burkhart’s wise and suspicious Osage wife Mollie Kyle, who identifies her husband as a “coyote.”

Still image from the animated film "Robot dreams" which premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

"The New Boy"

These three actors will dominate the Oscar conversation later this year. Oscar-winner De Niro (“Raging Bull,” “The Godfather Part II”) stars in a terrifying supporting role as William “King” Hale, the charming and relentless master manipulator behind the murders, who seduces his slow-witted World War I. her veteran nephew to not only marry the statuesque Kyle, but hire henchmen to carry out, among other things, the murders of her two sisters in order to eventually claim the head of her family.

Two hours into the slow-paced epic, Texas Ranger hero J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI agent Thomas Bruce White (Jesse Plemons) arrives on the scene with a team of agents who quickly assemble the sordid murder plan and bring him to justice. . While Roth’s original script, like Grann’s book, played out as a police procedural with White (originally played by DiCaprio) solving the complexities of the crime, Roth sought to give the Osage more weight in the narrative. Oscar-winner DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) found the role of Ernest Burkhart, who loves a woman while ordering the murder of his family, more complex and compelling than the FBI agent who gets to play white savior. If that’s why Plemons doesn’t have enough screen time to deserve an Oscar, DiCaprio deserves a lot of credit for being a blind follower who does what he’s told, even if it poisons someone he cares deeply about.

Lily Gladstone and Martin Scorsese on the set of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’Apple

Gladstone steals the show. An actress who was on the verge of giving up her profession is facing two powerful film stars on screen. In one stunning scene, as Burkhart clumsily woos her, thunder strikes the house. He wants to talk more. Kyle tells her to keep quiet and listen to the storm.

Esteemed auteur Scorsese, who could certainly have trimmed down his Western gangster story, may still be in the Oscar race for the 15th time. It was nominated 14 times, nine times for Best Director, shared two writing nods with Jay Cocks, and was nominated three times for Best Picture. He and Oscar-winning screenwriter co-writer Eric Roth (“Forrest Gump”) may also receive an adapted screenplay.

Like Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” or Scorsese’s own “The Irishman,” which received ten Oscar nominations, Oscar voters are sure to sing of the extraordinary craftsmanship of “Killer Moon”: three-time nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (” The Irishman,” “The Silence,” “Brokeback Mountain”), three-time winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker (Scorsese’s “The Departed,” “The Aviator” and “Raging Bull”), two-time nominated production designer Jack Fisk (“The Revenant, “There Will Be Blood,” four-time nominated costume designer Jacqueline West (“Dune,” “The Revenant,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Quills”) and never-nominated composer Robbie Robertson (Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” documentary), whose mother was Cayuga and Mohawk.

While the Apple Studios production will be screened by Paramount Pictures in October before it hits the Internet, many Academy voters will watch it on the screening portal, a far from ideal viewing experience for this immersive epic.

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