Though Martin Scorsese is well within his rights to disagree with the criticism, it definitely holds some merit. After all, many viewers will likely recall just how much of “Killers of the Flower Moon” is told from the perspective of Ernest (Leonardo Dicaprio). Of course, much of the film is also told from Mollie Burkhart’s (Lily Gladstone) point of view as well, which could offer the filmmaker some defense here.
Still, the writer-director’s comments that Ernest and Bill (Robert DeNiro) are criminals don’t necessarily alleviate these criticisms. After all, Scorsese has practically made a career out of telling stories focused on criminals, with many of them, like “Goodfellas,” “Gangs of New York,” and “Casino,” which are also inspired by real-life events, being told mainly from the perspectives of the wrongdoers.
Meanwhile, these critiques are compounded by the views expressed by “Reservation Dogs” star Devery Jacobs, who suggested that the film was insensitive on top of ignoring the perspective of the Osage people. “This film was painful, grueling, unrelenting, and unnecessarily graphic,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “But while all of the performances were strong, if you look proportionally, each of the Osage characters felt painfully underwritten, while the white men were given way more courtesy and depth.”
While “Killers of the Flower Moon” is already expected to be a contender for best picture at the 2023 Oscars, criticisms like these may hinder its chances as awards season approaches.