We saw Killers of the Flower Moon: a new dense and captivating Scorsese

Expected in French theaters on October 18 (then on Apple TV+), Killers of the Flower Moon, the new Scorsese film presented this summer at Cannes (out of competition), is a killer both literally and figuratively.

The story in two words: at the beginning of the 20th century, oil brought fortune to the Osage people, but the wealth of these Native Americans immediately attracted the desire of unsavory white people, capable of the worst to extract and steal their money. The longer it is, the better it is

After respectively nine and five previous collaborations, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio therefore reunited with director Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon, the adaptation in almost 3 hours 30 of the eponymous book (translated into French into The American Note) by David Grann, published in 2017. Initially planned for the Apple TV+ platform, the film will nevertheless be released on French screens on October 18. And it is true that it would have been sad not to be able to admire this American firefighter in the setting of a dark room. The director of Taxi Driver knows how to compose his shots like no other. The film is in itself a lesson in direction and rhythm that deserves the best installations. More than usual, undoubtedly, Martin Scorsese takes the time to tell us his story, avoiding none of its ramifications and never obscuring its complexity. It’s up to the spectator to follow! In this regard, Leonardo DiCaprio's score is once again excellent in its ambiguity, but it is undoubtedly Robert De Niro who stands out. It has been a long time since we have seen him so good in a role which, in many ways, is reminiscent of that of Robert Downey Jr in Oppenheimer. For once, he's not histrionics and that's a good thing, because the master's camera likes to linger on the faces of his actors to better capture the subtlety of their acting. And God knows that William Hale, the character played by De Niro is an eel whose cruelty and pragmatism are revealed throughout the film. A great American novelOf course, the 3h30 of the film is sometimes heavy, but no less was needed to describe the horror of the facts told. True facts, we remind you. We feel that the director was aware of the weight that weighed on his shoulders so as not to trample on the memory of those whom America massacred and then despoiled. During the 1970s, American cinema looked back a lot on its past (a little less since) and has repeatedly tackled the subject of the massacres of the Indian people. But it is a completely different dark aspect of American History that the film tells and describes.

In front of Scorsese's camera, it is the violence imposed on the Native American people who survived extermination (in particular women) which is exposed in broad daylight. Focused on the suffering of the character Molly Burkhart (formidable Lily Gladstone), the film pays a worthy tribute to this people that America has forgotten and who nevertheless were there before the arrival of the whites. Under the false air of a western cop, Killers of the Flower Moon is a real slap in the face to amnesiac America. More than a duty to remember Once again, Martin Scorsese continues his American introspection and this is undoubtedly where he is at his best, his filmography speaks for him. With Killers of the Flower Moon, he returns to the original sin on which his country and even its cinema were built with westerns. He looks him in the face, as few before him had done. In the end, the film emanates like a scent of repentance. At the age of 80 and at the twilight of a rich, multi-awarded career, it is undoubtedly no coincidence that the director, a fan of John Ford, decided to appear at the end of his film. As if in one scene, he embraced the word of America and asked forgiveness from the Native Americans. Heartbreaking and so cinematic.