Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2023

‘Beautifully shot but the crime plot kicks in late’ – Killers of the Flower Moon review | Films | Entertainment

A genius, a visionary and one of the most influential figures in modern cinema. For movie buffs blighted with weak bladders or troublesome prostates, Dan Gardner is all this and probably more.

Gardner is the inventor of Runpee, a smartphone app which lists plot-light sections of films when users can safely nip to the loo.

When Martin Scorsese’s meandering three-and-a-half-hour true-crime epic appears on Gardner’s list, it could set a new record for recommended “peetimes”.

It’s the 1920s and, in Fairfax, Oklahoma, the social order has been overturned by the discovery of oil on land previously ceded to the Native American tribes of “Osage Nation”.

Robert De Niro plays William Hale, the slimy bigwig who became a trusted ally of the Osage people while secretly plotting their destruction.

Leonardo DiCaprio is his moronic nephew Ernest, whom Hale persuades to woo and marry Osage resident Mollie (Lily Gladstone) so he can inherit her family’s “mineral rights”. Ernest is soon besotted with his new wife.

But then there is an outbreak of ­accidents. Mollie’s mum and sisters are killed or fall victim to a “wasting sickness”. Then her diabetes starts getting a whole lot worse. As it’s revealed early on that Hale is behind the murders (with the help of heavies, corrupt doctors, negligent cops and the dopey nephew), there are plenty of opportunities to head to the loo.

It’s beautifully shot but the crime plot only kicks in on the two-hour mark when Jesse Plemons’ FBI agent turns up and the net begins to tighten.

Scorsese originally wanted DiCaprio to play the agent. Recasting him as Ernest and focusing on his relationship with Mollie was a risky move that didn’t quite come off.

It would only work if you buy into the idea that a man can love his wife while secretly poisoning her insulin. Mollie’s perspective could have been a lot more intriguing.

Killers of the Flower Moon, Cert 15, In cinemas now

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