At this point in his life, every time there’s a new Scorsese film, I wonder if this will be his inevitable final statement. It’s clear from Killers and The Irishman that the cruelty of death and the legacy, or lack thereof, of each of our lives is on his mind.

In the case of Killers of the Flower Moon, it’s clear his films are growing longer, quieter, and even more opinionated. Much has been made about the earlier versions of this script, which would have seen DiCaprio play FBI agent Tom White in a commercially viable thriller. Other people, who are smarter than me, have written much more cogently about how that could have been a more visceral experience, but also become problematic in its depiction of a white saviour.

That’s not what Scorsese opted to make. For better or for worse, this is not commercially viable, and it’s not a thriller. It’s a far cry from Goodfellas, and a farther cry still from Wolf of Wall Street. But it’s probably the only film a white man could have made about the systematic murder of the Osage people. It’s a film almost entirely told from the perspective of the white murdered, and Scorsese uses that perspective as a way to implicate all of us, including himself, for turning a blind eye to the injustices we see today.

Scorsese knows one thing for certain: he is running out of time. But if Killers makes anything clear, it’s that he still has so much more to say.

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