This is the year I didn’t mind getting older.
It’s the year the Rolling Stones, with Mick Jagger at 80, gave us “Hackney Diamonds,” one of their finest albums. It’s the year Paul McCartney turned 81, and his book “1964: Eyes of the Storm” became a bestseller.
‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ (IMDb)
Now no one should be surprised that this is the year that, at the age of 80, director Martin Scorsese has delivered one of the finest movies of his distinguished career.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is a masterpiece – a sure contender for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and who-knows-where else.
It’s a Western in its setting and a kind of murder mystery in its telling of the multiple slayings of members of the Osage community in early 1920s Oklahoma. It’s based on David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller.
In one of his finest roles, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Ernest, a not-so-bright, greedy toady easily manipulated by his wealthy uncle, who welcomes him home from the service in World War I.
Both he and his brother Byron (Scott Shepherd) work for their Uncle William Hale (Robert De Niro,) who professes his respect and love for the Osage people. He encourages Ernest to marry Mollie (an unforgettable Lily Gladstone,) whom Ernest really does love but whom Hale sees as a way Ernest can get his hands on oil money.
You don’t need to know any more than this. Just go enjoy the work of a master filmmaker, who has put together an incredible cast that includes Tantoo Cardinal as Mollie’s mother, Jesse Plemmons, Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow, with great performances enhanced by the perfectly wrought score composed by Robbie Robertson.
Gladstone turns in a stellar turn as Mollie, who – like many others in the Osage tribe – has become wealthy because of the discovery of oil on their land.
It’s a recipe for disaster, and the ensuing tragedy comes after a slow build.
This is a spectacle film that deserves to be seen on the big screen. You’ll be surprised at how fast time flies when you’re immersed in Scorsese’s world of violence, betrayal and greed.
Running time: 3 ½ hours.
Rated: R for violence, foul language, gore and other disturbing images.
Only in theaters.
Watch the trailer here.