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Leonardo DiCaprio Triumph
The 3-hour and 26-minute drama, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, captivated the audience by exploring a dark and lesser-known chapter of American history.
Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday night, receiving the most enthusiastic standing ovation of the event.
Despite the film’s lengthy duration, the viewers in the French Riviera were so engrossed that they spontaneously rose to their feet, applauding for a remarkable nine minutes.
Cannes clearly adores Leonardo DiCaprio (last seen here in “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”) and Martin Scorsese, who made his long-awaited return to the festival since “After Hours” in 1985. This is excellent news for Apple Original Films, as they invested $200 million in Scorsese to bring his vision to life, hoping for one of his renowned explorations of crime.
While many of Scorsese’s iconic movies take place in the gritty streets of New York, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is set in northeastern Oklahoma, depicting the sinister murders of members of the Osage Nation in a chillingly systematic manner.
A Night of Glamour and Triumph
Prior to the movie’s premiere, Scorsese strolled the red carpet with DiCaprio, De Niro, and Jesse Plemons while they braved the gloomy and wet conditions. Scorsese was greeted by Cate Blanchett, who received an Oscar for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator,” as he took his seat to applause.
However, when the movie was over, Gladstone—who portrays an Osage lady deceived by her avaricious husband for her wealth—was the target of the greatest screaming. She was met with rapturous reviews and had to hold back tears as the Palais crowd loudly applauded her. Oscar bloggers are already praising her performance on social media for potential awards attention.
Scorsese’s Heartfelt Gratitude
After the movie ended and the audience clapped, Scorsese grabbed the microphone and spoke to them. He said, “Thank you to the Osages. “Everyone felt a connection to the image. Bob, Leo, Jesse, and Lily are two of my old friends. We filmed this in Oklahoma a few years ago. Although it took some time, Apple treated us incredibly well. A lot of grass was present. I am from New York. I was shocked to my core. It was a fantastic experience. We were a part of that world.
The standing ovation might have continued longer if the director hadn’t been asked to address the crowded theatre. Scorsese continued to mouth “thank you” while the audience applauded. Although he made it apparent he didn’t enjoy the camera following him for too long (a risk of attending Cannes, where every move of the A-listers present is recorded for posterity), he appeared inspired by the response. The Osage actors wiped their eyes as they stood around Scorsese, filled with passion.
Cannes’ Unwavering Anticipation
The audience in the Palais seems unconcerned despite the movie starting 45 minutes late. Since “Killers of the Flower Moon” was the festival’s most anticipated movie and its most popular ticket, it was one of those occasions when Hollywood sent its best actors to the South of France to celebrate the craft (and glitz) of filmmaking. And among the movie stars were business moguls. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, attended Cannes to support the company’s entry into the film industry. In contrast to how it was greeted at a media screening, the audience cheered when they saw Apple’s banner appear on the screen after the movie began.
A line snaked all the way to the Club Maritime, which is located behind the festival’s main centre, during another press showing of “Killers” at the Debussy theatre at 4:30 p.m. Journalists had to wait outside in the heavy rain after arriving an hour early for the screening. Doors opened only ten minutes before the scheduled start of the screening, causing a frenzied rush as people fought for seats. The movie was 15 minutes late when everyone was seated, and the lights were turned down.
Yet the festival’s uncharacteristic tardiness didn’t dampen the mood inside, where the press occupied almost every seat of the 1,068-seat cinema and erupted in raucous cheering as the film kicked off. When the Apple TV+ logo elicited booing, one brave press member yelled, “Hey! They paid for it!” Overall, De Niro and DiCaprio’s unexpected comedy act, particularly a sequence in which De Niro spanks DiCaprio with a paddle in a deserted Mason’s lodge, was warmly received with whoops of laughter. And Gladstone appeared to have stolen the film from the two vets. “She’s amazing,” one attendee enthused of her performance at a pivotal moment towards the movie’s end.
Killers of the Flower Moon
The latest Scorsese film, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” is set in the 1920s in Oklahoma and centres on several murders in the Osage Nation. It is based on David Grann’s 2017 book of the same name. When the newly established FBI comes to the location to investigate, they find a dark scheme. Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow are among the supporting actors; Scorsese also makes a cameo to thunderous applause.
Notably, “Flower Moon” is the first feature-length collaboration between Oscar winners DiCaprio and De Niro since Michael Caton-Jones’ 1993 drama “This Boy’s Life.”
In Scorsese’s short film “The Audition,” both performers portrayed fictitious versions of themselves. De Niro appeared in three Scorsese films—”Taxi Driver,” “Cape Fear,” and “Raging Bull,” with the last earning him an Oscar nomination for best actor. DiCaprio received Oscar nominations for his roles in Scorsese’s films “The Aviator” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
While making “Flower Moon,” Scorsese collaborated extensively with the Osage Nation, with Osage Nation head Geoffrey Standing Bear serving as a consultant. Gladstone acknowledged to Variety that the Osage Nation greatly influenced Scorsese’s original vision for the film.
Gladstone once observed, “The work is better when you let the world inform the work.” “How involved the production was with the [Osage Nation] community was incredibly encouraging. The more the neighbourhood grew used to our presence, the more they engaged with the movie. Almost entirely due to what the public had to say about the film’s production and portrayal, it differs from the one [Scorsese] stepped in to produce.
Gladstone says, “The work is better when you let the world inform the work.”Seeing how closely the production involved the [Osage Nation] community was pretty gratifying. The more the locals became accustomed to us being there, the more they participated in the movie. It differs from the one [Scorsese] stepped in to produce almost entirely due to what the public had to say about the film’s creation and portrayal.
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