Now that Martin Scorsese’s gripping tale of the Osage murders, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” is available on demand, dive into the story’s intricacies with our curated reading list. Uncover the history, production nuances, and critical reactions that make this film an undeniable masterpiece.
1. Unveiling the Historical Roots: David Grann’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” Discover the gripping nonfiction behind the film. David Grann’s 2017 bestseller delves into the horrifying murder plot and the birth of the FBI, offering a soul-searing narrative that lays the groundwork for Scorsese’s cinematic interpretation.
2. The Facts Behind the Drama: Osage Wealth, Mollie Kyle, and the Conspiracy Explore the historical context that inspired Scorsese’s adaptation. Learn about the wealthy Osage woman Mollie Kyle, her white husband Ernest Burkhart, and the uncle at the center of the conspiracy, William King Hale. Uncover the facts that shaped the dramatic narrative.
3. From FBI Focus to Osage Centered: A Production Evolution Understand the evolution of the film’s production, from an initial focus on the FBI to a nuanced portrayal of Osage characters. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s decision to pivot adds depth to the narrative. Get insights from the stars and director on this transformative journey.
4. Costume Design: A Marriage of Tradition and Military Aesthetics Dive into the visual details of the film, especially the unique wedding scene where tradition meets military aesthetics. Explore the significance of Mollie’s bridal outfit, a striking blend of military dress and Osage tradition, unraveling the careful craftsmanship behind the costumes.
5. Star-Studded Cameos: Musicians, Comedians, and Filmmakers Delve into the cast beyond the leading roles. Uncover the surprise appearances of musicians like Jason Isbell, comedians like Tatanka Means, and a hidden filmmaker. Decode the array of talents that enrich the cinematic experience.
6. Critical Acclaim: Dargis’s Requiem for the Country Explore the profound impact of “Killers of the Flower Moon” through the lens of The New York Times’s chief film critic, Manohla Dargis. A “heartbreaking masterpiece” and a “true-crime epic,” Dargis’s review offers a compelling perspective on Scorsese’s cinematic achievement.
7. DiCaprio’s Dumb as Rocks Protagonist: A Fundamental Shift Unpack the unconventional portrayal of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Ernest Burkhart. Unlike traditional Scorsese protagonists, Burkhart’s simplicity fundamentally alters the film’s dynamics. Gain insights from a critic’s notebook explaining this unique character choice.
8. Rethinking Violence: Scorsese’s Cinematic Evolution Trace Martin Scorsese’s evolution in depicting violence. From ornately edited, violent set pieces to a more straightforward approach, understand the director’s transformation in films like “The Irishman” and “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
As “Killers of the Flower Moon” continues to captivate audiences, this comprehensive guide invites you to delve deeper into the layers that make this Scorsese epic a must-watch.