I saw the film today, and it is the best work that Robert de Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio have done in quite a while. This is De Niro's tenth collaboration with Scorsese, and he gives a subtle performance as William King Hale, the mastermind of the Osage massacre. It is great to witness such inventive acting from De Niro, even mastering a Midwestern accent to perfection. Mr. DiCaprio is no stranger to Scorsese's films either. In this, his sixth collaboration with the director, he also gives a performance rooted in nuance; and although he seems to progress through the role with a permanent frown on his face, he brings to life the role of Ernest Burkhart, who becomes a pawn in Hale's greedy schemes.
But is is Lily Gladstone, an actress that portrays Mollie, Ernest's Native American wife, who casts the longest shadow in the film. Ms. Gladstone, who is part Native American (and who is related to British Prime Minister William Gladstone), grew up in the Blackfeet Nation reservation, and has only made a handful of films before this one. You will not forget her expressive face and her sorrowful eyes. Many of the members of the Osage Nation also took part in the film behind the scenes, as well as taking important roles in the film.
Mr. Scorsese is in top form as a director, even making an Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo appearance in a denouement to the film that I can only describe as inspired. The final shot of the film, as memorable a shot as can be, brings to mind scenes from Scorsese's 1997 Kundun, and it populates the field of flowers of the title with a vibrant homage to the Osage people.