“All that Killers of the Flower Moon has going for it is the woke idea that America’s white men are spiritually sick. It’s the latest variation on themes from the oil-well saga There Will Be Blood, with the added Millennial gloss of racial blame along the lines of Biden-era white self-revulsion.
“In the age of Diversity Equity Inclusion, Scorsese gets superficial, not more personal. He depicts the Osage as types — as overdressed, rowdy, pathological nouveaux riches, occasionally superstitious, sharing only slight interaction with resentful, miscreant whites.
“Instead, Killers of the Flower Moon pits white reprobates against indigenous innocents. Gladstone’s Mollie is a passive victim, given to bovine Streepian furtiveness and suffering. ‘Evil surrounds my heart,’ she moans, triggering Scorsese’s close-ups of ugly, mean, frowning white faces staring Mollie down — even though Gladstone’s complexion is whiter than theirs.
“[There is an] emphasis on Ernest’s false-hearted romance and eventual marriage to the quiet, heavyset Osage parvenue Mollie (Lily Gladstone). He goes from gaslighting Mollie to slowly poisoning her through insulin injections. [Note: White also describes Gladstone as “bovine.”]
“Killers of the Flower Moon is obviously hobbled by topical attitudes — an Osage gathering laments knowingly about white betrayal, actually invoking the modern word ‘genocide.’ It mourns a people without will or fight but plagued by melancholy, diabetes, and other maladies apparently affecting only their community.
“Killers of the Flower Moon is another instance of fatuous white guilt — a companion piece to the treacheries and condemnations of Spielberg’s West Side Story. Scorsese of all people should know the sensitivity that distinguished innumerable American movies that dealt with the tragic mistreatment of Native Americans, but this movie, instead, promises there will be Blood/Oil/Genocide. It is Scorsese’s first political movie, and, unfortunately, he has been radicalized against America.”
Sidenote: As HE readers know, I posted a piece last summer about the abbreviated dramatizing of the Osage murder saga in Mervyn LeRoy‘s The FBI Story (’59), which starred James Stewart. White is apparently the first name-brand critic to reference same. White: “LeRoy handled the Osage killings with economical moral clarity.”