CANNES, France (AP) — Martin Scorsese presented “Killers of the Flower Moon” in Cannes on Saturday, premiering an American epic about greed and exploitation on the bloody plains of a 1920s Osage Nation reservation in Oklahoma. .
Scorsese’s latest, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro, is one of the most ambitious. Adapting David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, it spans nearly three and a half hours and cost Apple $200 million.
“We recorded this a couple of years ago in Oklahoma. It’s taken a while to recover, but Apple did very well with us,” Scorsese said, addressing the crowd after the screening. “There was a lot of grass. I’m a New Yorker.
The red carpet drew a wide spectrum of stars. Along with the film’s extensive cast, attendees included Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as actors Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Paul Dano, and Isabelle Huppert.
Although Grann’s book offers many possible forays into the story, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth center their story on Ernest Burkhart (DiCaprio, in his seventh collaboration with Scorsese), a World War I veteran who falls in love with Mollie Brown ( Gladstone), a member of a wealthy Osage family.
Since they found oil reserves on their land, the Osage were then the richest people per capita in the country. But that wealth is tightly controlled by designated white custodians. A series of murders increases panic among the Osage, who fall victim to a host of greedy killers.
While 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 investigations. (Jesse Plemons plays an agent for the newly created Bureau.) Instead, “Killers of the Flower Moon” captures the manipulation and killings of Native Americans through the dynamics of Ernest and Mollie’s relationship.
Screening out of competition at Cannes, “Killers of the Flower Moon” opens in US theaters on October 6.
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