A child conceived when Killers of the Flower Moon‘s first still debuted––that was May 10, 2021––could now walk, or at least waddle. It’s a fine image, unambiguously superior to Frances McDormand’s knowing smile or Renate Reinsve’s cheerful run or Brendan Fraser’s forlorn glance, and I truly wish Paramount and Apple banked their $200 million investment exclusively on a moment shared between Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone. (And oh, how I’d love to join them at that table!) But all good things must come to an end, and now that we know the director––who many forget is a student of and occasional due-payer to the avant-garde––does not hold his camera in that position, Wavelength-style, for such a length, it’s time to see more. Put another way: we finally have a trailer for Scorsese’s 206-minute western mere days before its Cannes premiere.

I’ll skip said trailer in hopes of entering the film as fresh as possible (which means waiting until its October 6 theatrical release) but everyone else should have fun. Likely, after all, that we don’t have a world of films left from the 80-year-old Scorsese, but nothing about Killers of the Flower Moon suggests ambition reduced by age. Nor does Apple footing that $200 million bill correlate with an amiable experience. Adapting David Grann’s acclaimed book, Flower Moon connects brutal, widespread murders of the oil-prosperous Osage Nation with Oklahoma’s white, wealthy, read-about-these-psychos-at-your-own-peril Hale family. The latter’s embodied by Robert De Niro and DiCaprio, casting that constitutes as much a Scorsese benchmark as The Irishman and is no less notable for including Gladstone, Scott Shepherd, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow. That director / actor / material / resources combination is a bit dizzying, and if there’s decent chance at least a few 2023 premieres exceed Killers of the Flower Moon for shock and surprise, none loom to such degree.

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