Cannes, France (AP) – Martin Scorsese unveiled “Killer of the Flower Moon” in Cannes Saturday, opening a sweeping American epic about greed and exploitation on the bloody plains of the Osage Nation Reservation in 1920s Oklahoma Went.
Scorsese’s latest – starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro – is one of his most ambitious. Adapting David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, it spans nearly three and a half hours and cost Apple $200 million to produce.
Nothing has been more anticipated at this year’s Cannes Film Festival Compared to “Killer of the Flower Moon”—a historical epic, a bitter crime film, and a Great Plains Western—it appeared to live up to those expectations. It drew a lengthy standing ovation and repeated cheers for the 80-year-old Scorsese, who premiered his first film at Cannes since 1985’s “After Hours.”
“We shot it a few years back in Oklahoma. It took time to come around but Apple did a great job by us,” Scorsese said while addressing the crowd after the screening. “There was a lot of grass. I’m a New Yorker.
The red carpet attracted a wide spectrum of stars. Along with the film’s massive cast, attendees included Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as actors Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Paul Dano, and Isabelle Huppert.
Although Gran’s book confirms several possible subtexts of the story, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth centered their story around Ernest Burkhardt (DiCaprio, in his seventh collaboration with Scorsese), a WWI veteran, who are members of Molly Brown (Gladstone). A wealthy Osage family.
Since the discovery of oil reserves on their land, the Osage were the richest people per capita in the country. But that money is closely controlled by appointed white guardians. A series of murders has raised panic among the Osage, who are hunted by a group of greedy killers.
Although Grann’s book devotes several pages to the relationship between the cases and the birth of the FBI, less time is spent in Scorsese’s film on the murder investigation. (Jesse Plemons plays an agent from the just-formed bureau.) Instead, “Killer of the Flower Moon” captures the manipulation and murders of Native American peoples through the dynamics in Ernest and Mollie’s relationship.
“Killer of the Flower Moon,” which is playing out of competition at Cannes, opens in US theaters on October 6.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP