Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeMovie TrailerThe twisted love story at the heart of 'Killers of the Flower...

The twisted love story at the heart of ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

Can you find the wolves in this picture?

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The chorus of this line, ostensibly taken from a children’s book, is one of the many haunting things in the first trailer for Martin ScorseseIt is The Moonflower Slayers, which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend and hit theaters in the fall. Adapted from David Grann, the story spans from a true living crime saga – centering on a series of unexplained deaths in the oil-rich nation of Osage in the early 1920s – to an indictment of how the American West was built. As the trailer makes clear, over shots of white Oklahomans staring coldly into the camera, “Greed is a bloodthirsty animal.”

Grann’s book, with the subtitle The birth of the FBIis framed as a crime novel, with FBI agent Tom White (played in the film by jesse plemons) arriving in the Osage Nation to solve the murders of several natives who were entitled to the benefits of the oil discovered under their land. But the fact that Plemons only briefly appears in the trailer is no coincidence. In a recent interview with Deadline, DiCaprio said that the original versions of the script, which focused on White and the investigation, “just didn’t get to the heart of the Osage. It felt too much like an investigation into the detective work, rather than a forensic understanding of the culture and dynamics of this very tumultuous and dangerous time in Oklahoma.

The final version of the film, written by Eric Roth and Scorsese, is instead a complex love story between DiCaprio’s Ernest Burkhart and his wife Mollie (Lily Gladstone), an Osage made rich with oil money. “Ernest and Mollie really represented how twisted and complex some of this stuff was, culturally,” DiCaprio told Deadline. “A lot of Osage women were marrying white men who were really coming after them, to take control of their rights and their oil money. And yet, at the same time […] They still loved each other. It was the twisted complexity of what made this a truly dark American story.

With Deadline, Scorsese talked a lot more about how his film responds to American Western film tradition and how the folks at Osage helped him put the love story front and center. He also reflected on his long career and what might come next: “I’m old. I read stuff. I see things. I want to tell stories, and there’s no time.

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