A random, straight-from-the-shoulder discussion from earlier today (transcript):
Friendo: The biggest problem with Killers of the Flower Moon, which I’ve just watched for the fourth time, is that after all Lily has suffered and been through…after all that she doesn’t rip into Leo at the end of the film. The whole point of having the FBI involved is that we’re invested in their story so when they get the bad guy it’s satisfying. So we naturally expect some sort of catharsis from Lily. But it never comes.
HE: Correct. Lily is even gentle with dumb-ass Leo during their final scene. She gently caresses his cheek and listens to his regrets without saying shit, or saying much. Zero catharsis. Zero satisfaction.
Friendo: They set us up for a showdown at the end, which is the only reward for enduring her suffering. You need that scene…payback, revenge, retribution
HE: The idea seems to be that Lily’s spirituality doesn’t allow for any retribution or condemnation. It’s too coarse for her. She’s at one with the Spirit Gods.
Friendo: So either she’s ignorant and stupid. Or it’s bad writing.
HE: Inconclusive story strategy, I would say. Unsatisfying finale.
Friendo: Leo was in cahoots with men who killed her whole family, and then he poisoned her himself for months? Any intelligent person would flip out at a man who did that.
HE: Marty Scorsese and Eric Roth didn’t see it that way.