Scorsese debuts “Killers of the Flower Moon” at Cannes to rapturous applause
CANNES, France — Martin Scorsese presented “Killers of the Flower Moon” at Cannes on Saturday, debuting a sweeping American epic about greed and exploitation on the bloody plains of the Osage Nation reservation in 1920s Oklahoma.
Scorsese’s latest film – starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro – is one of his most ambitious. Adapting David Grann’s fiction bestseller, it takes nearly three and a half hours and cost Apple $200 million to make.
At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, nothing mattered more than “Killers of the Flower Moon”—a historical epic, a bitter crime thriller and a lowland western—which seemed to live up to those expectations. It drew a standing ovation and repeated cheers for the 80-year-old Scorsese, who premiered his first film since 1985’s “After Hours” at Cannes.
“We shot this in Oklahoma a few years ago. It took a while to come out, but Apple has been great with us,” Scorsese said to the crowd after the screening. “There was a lot of grass. I’m from New York.”
The red carpet attracted a wide spectrum of stars. In addition to the film’s rich cast, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Paul Dano and Isabelle Huppert were among the attendees.
While Grann’s book offers several possible paths for the story, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth’s story centers on Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio, in his seventh collaboration with Scorsese), a World War I veteran who falls in love with Mollie Brown (Gladstone), a cast member. a wealthy Osage family.
Since oil reserves were found on their land, the Osage were the richest people in the country at the time, per capita. But this wealth is strictly controlled by appointed white guardians. A series of murders heightens the panic among the Osage, who are being preyed upon by an army of greedy killers.
Although Grann’s book devoted many pages to the connections between the cases and the birth of the FBI, Scorsese’s film spends less time on the murder investigation. (Jesse Plemons plays an agent of the newly formed Bureau.) Instead, “Killers of the Flower Moon” depicts the manipulation and killing of Native Americans through the dynamics of Ernest and Mollie’s relationship.
“Killers of the Flower Moon,” which played out of competition at Cannes, will debut in American theaters on October 6.
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