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Davis Drive Park has fields, Greenways and trails.
Gallery: Parks around town
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Game subscription services have been rapidly increasing in popularity, with the largest service, PlayStation Plus Premium, reporting a user count of 47.4 million, leading to many believing that services will be the future of the game industry.
Gaming in the future
Miguel Carrasco Gomez, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Regan Orlando and Mason ClineFebruary 23, 2024
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Davis Drive Park has fields, Greenways and trails.
Gallery: Parks around town
Mason Cline, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Game subscription services have been rapidly increasing in popularity, with the largest service, PlayStation Plus Premium, reporting a user count of 47.4 million, leading to many believing that services will be the future of the game industry.
Gaming in the future
Miguel Carrasco Gomez, Staff Writer • February 26, 2024
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Quiz: Which lacrosse player are you?
Regan Orlando and Mason ClineFebruary 23, 2024
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events
Pinning down the win: Green Hope womens wrestling
Pinning down the win: Green Hope women's wrestling
Zoe Westerlund and Deepa RameshFebruary 23, 2024
Follow this link to purchase tickets for Green Hope Athletic events

Killers of the Flower Moon review: The American tragedy “in this picture”

Ernest+%28Leonardo+DiCaprio%29+and+Mollie+%28Lily+Gladstone%29+are+seen+pictured+above+in+a+scene+from+%E2%80%9CKillers+of+the+Flower+Moon%E2%80%9D.+Courtesy+of+the+Apple+TV%2B+Press+via+apple.com
Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie (Lily Gladstone) are seen pictured above in a scene from “Killers of the Flower Moon”. Courtesy of the Apple TV+ Press via apple.com

“Can you find the wolves in this picture?” This line from the new film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” delivered from Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Ernest Burkhart, demonstrates the difficult aspect of locating greedy and brutal players in a plot to destroy a Native American community. The film, at its core, features heinous acts administered through the western expansion in the United States. The essential motivation behind the horrific story surrounding the film is simply monetary ambition. Much like the “wolves” camouflaging in a valley, their schemes are all present, but these plots are not obvious on the surface. 

Four years after the release of “The Irishman,” director Martin Scorsese’s latest three-and-a-half hour epic, “Killers of the Flower Moon” marks the return of Scorsese, as this is the first film to be released directly in theaters since his film “Silence” in 2017.

The film tells the true story of the murder of members of the Osage Native American Tribe during the 1920’s. Based on David Grann’s book, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the screenplay was adapted by both Scorsese and Eli Roth. 

Set in Osage County Oklahoma, the plot centers around the members of the Osage Tribe murdered after oil is discovered on their land. The murder of innocent indigenous peoples lead the newly formed Federal Bureau (FBI) of Investigation to to step in and investigate this American tragedy.

The central story is told from the perspectives of Ernest and Mollie Buckhart, played by Lily Gladstone. Mollie Buckhart serves as the heart of the film, as she watches her family and tribe being ripped apart by the murders. She is someone determined to solve the murders more than anyone, even after her love and trust gets betrayed by her own husband.

The film explores the themes of greed and how money motivates ambitious and cruel actions. The Osage tribal members are perceived as people with wealth, as their civilization lies over valuable oil. At the same time, the white townspeople controlled the government and the banks of which the Osage tribe had no control over. 

Scorsese’s films normally contain stories of the main characters’ rise and fall from grace, and here, that was no different. The main character of Ernest is presented as someone who is motivated by greed, as he marries Mollie to take control of the oil discovered on her family’s land.

Since the film is told from Ernest and Mollie’s point of view, it allows for a new angle for Scorsese’s usual character study. The heart and soul of the film is around the relationship between Ernest and Mollie, and how the murders began to take effect into their marriage.

However, Ernest’s uncle William Hale, portrayed by Robert De Niro, is someone who was heavily involved in the murders, putting Ernest in a gamble that forces him to choose sides with his wife or his uncle. 

Scorsese in the past included the deconstruction of characters’ successes and failures, such as 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which also starred Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of the former stockbroker Jordan Belfort. 

However, the character studies of Ernest, Mollie and William contain more emotional depths than any of Scorsese’s previous work.  

With the film’s deep dive into the dynamics between each character, the character analysis becomes more impactful as the tragedy unfolds, something that is different from Scorsese’s usual storytelling and messaging.

As for the performances, this might be the best performance Leonardo DiCaprio has ever given in his entire career. DiCaprio excels in his depiction of a snarky greedy man, but the acting is also able to carry emotional depth with his relationship with Lily Gladstone’s character and Robert De Niro’s character, as well as the events unfolding around him.  

Besides DiCaprio, both Gladstone and De Niro deliver standout performances. With Gladstone, she is the heart of the entire plot. Being that her and her family members go through unspeakable tragedies, she was able to bring such emotion and depth to her character. To me, this film was my introduction to her as an actress, and her performance in the film was astounding to me. I definitely look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

With De Niro, he’s an actor that’s been around for many years, and he still proves with this film to be one of the top working actors of all time. He’s able to play the character of William Hale, who has so much power as he had allies with DiCaprio’s character, the Osage tribe itself, and also was pulling the strings in the background. Hale portrays a sociopath who can sell a murder with a single smile. 

The best aspect was that it did a great job capturing the gut wrenching real-life story of the Osage Murders, while also building intrigue into the investigation itself. Establishing a somber tone throughout the three and a half hour runtime, the film excelled perfectly in capturing what life in the 1920’s was like. Thematically the film can be heavy at times, but it’s able to still tell a compelling true story while being focused around a loving couple at its heart.

The lengthy runtime was one of the biggest issues for me. The first hour of the film features extensive amounts of set up that could’ve easily been shortened by thirty minutes to make it move quicker. To those who are impatient with lengthy runtimes, the movie will only make those people alienated at the runtime wishing it had been much shorter.

Also, even though the film features an enormous runtime, the lead characters felt a bit at arms length, and were never quite as fleshed out as they could have been. 

Ernest and Mollie have a clear relationship with each other from the beginning of the film to the end. However, the central plot never really dove into their actual day to day relationship, rather it felt as if that was on the back burner while the events of the film started to unfold. 

The film overall isn’t just another great Martin Scorsese film, it is easily one of his best films to date. The acting across the board was phenomenal, and is definitely an early contender for best picture at the Oscars in 2024. 

To fans of Martin Scorsese, as well as the book “Killers of the Flower Moon,” this film is a must watch. A compelling plot with strong performances, nothing can touch the importance and timeliness of the movie.

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About the Contributor
Max Spiegel, Staff Writer
Max Spiegel is a junior at Green Hope High School, and this is his second year on the staff of the GHFalcon.  Max made his way to Cary from his home state of New Jersey.  When not working on stories, Max spends his time relaxing, working at AMC Theaters, and playing golf. Max prefers to work in groups as it allows for ideas to be shared and reviewed. Max became a part of the staff due to his preference to work in groups in order to openly share ideas.  By joining the staff, he wants to expand his boundaries.
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    Krista KostansekNov 6, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    Definitely will check out based on this review! Thanks!

    Reply