Berliner TageBlatt - DiCaprio praises Scorsese's epic 'reckoning with past' at Cannes

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DiCaprio praises Scorsese's epic 'reckoning with past' at Cannes
DiCaprio praises Scorsese's epic 'reckoning with past' at Cannes / Foto: © AFP

DiCaprio praises Scorsese's epic 'reckoning with past' at Cannes

Leonardo DiCaprio gushed over Martin Scorsese's filmmaking "ferocity" on Sunday as they basked in rave reviews at Cannes for their Native American crime epic "Killers of the Flower Moon", while the festival prepared to bow down before Jude Law as King Henry VIII.


Scorsese's latest opus, about a wave of murders among oil-rich Osage Indians in the 1920s, was hailed as "searing", a "triumph" and a "masterpiece" by critics who scored the Cannes Film Festival's hottest ticket for the premiere the previous night.

Based on a non-fiction bestseller, the film sees DiCaprio as a weak-willed man who marries a wealthy Osage woman and is drawn into the deadly schemes of his kingpin uncle, played by Scorsese's other long-time muse, Robert De Niro.

DiCaprio called the three-and-a-half-hour film "a reckoning with our past" and was full of praise for Scorsese, saying the 80-year-old's "perseverance and ferocity to tell the truth, no matter how ugly... is masterful".

IndieWire said the star gave "his best-ever performance", while The Guardian awarded five stars for a "remarkable epic about the bloody birth of America".

The festival was already set for another glitzy premiere later on Sunday with "Firebrand", starring Jude Law as 16th-century English king Henry VIII alongside Alicia Vikander as his sixth and final wife, Catherine Parr.

- 'Drives me crazy' -

"Firebrand" is in the increasingly tight race for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, to be announced on May 27.

Among the entries is Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore's new film "May December", which received strong reviews after its premiere on Saturday.

The tale of a woman who caused a tabloid scandal by marrying a schoolboy -- and the actress who enters their lives years later to research a role -- was described as "deliciously campy" by IndieWire.

Portman told AFP she liked seeing women "behave in morally ambiguous ways".

"It always drives me crazy when people are like, 'Oh, if only women rule the world, it would be a kinder place'. No, women are humans and come in all different complexities," she said.

Arguably the current favourite for the Palme is British director Jonathan Glazer's "The Zone of Interest", a unique and horrifying look at the private life of a Nazi officer working at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Critics were near-unanimous in their praise, Variety calling it "chilling and profound".

It was partly inspired by a book of the same name by British novelist Martin Amis, who died on Saturday at 73.

Also well received was "Four Daughters", a heartbreaking documentary about radicalisation within a Tunisian family that is both inventive and engaging.

That may go down well with jury president Ruben Ostlund, last year's winner for "Triangle of Sadness", who likes his arthouse films with some lighter touches.

A total of 21 films are in the main competition, with entries from past winners Wim Wenders, Ken Loach and Nanni Moretti still to come.

- 'Trust and betrayal' -

Scorsese's Apple-funded film had an out-of-competition slot at the festival and is due for general release in October.

The 80-year-old director said it was not "a whodunnit -- it's a who didn't do it".

He chose to focus on the poisonous marriage between DiCaprio's character and his wife, played by Lily Gladstone, as "a template for that tragedy of love, trust and betrayal of the indigenous people".

The book focused more on the criminal investigation into the murders, which helped give birth to the FBI, but De Niro said the world had seen enough films where "the good guy goes south or to Indian country and saves the day".

"This is much more important," he said.


He couldn't help a jab at his frequent nemesis, saying: "It's like with Trump... There are people who think he could do a good job. Imagine how insane that is?"