Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation in the hopes of solving her mysterious death.
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A slow burning, provocative gem.
There has been next to no fanfare for the release of this murder
mystery. Which is surprising, considering the talent involved in front
of the camera (Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen) and behind it
(writer-director Taylor Sheridan). Fresh from joining the ranks of
top-tiered screenwriters after the amazing one-two punch of Sicario and
Hell or High Water, Sheridan continues his stellar run with a
heart-wrenching study of loss and grief wrapped in a taut crime
thriller narrative. Also having a crack at directing, Sheridan allows
the snowy Wyoming setting to completely envelope the characters in a
world that feels like it has no exits, both physically and emotionally.
When this Native American community is hit with a homicide it feels
like another tragedy in a long line of tragedies; their shock is
replaced with deeper sorrow, their outrage is replaced with solemn
defeat. Entering the scene like a fish out of water, Olsen's junior FBI
agent Jane Banner must traverse the tricky cultural complexities if
she's to understand the clues in front of her. Luckily she has Renner's
local hunter Cory Lambert to assist, himself battling with a past
family disaster. Renner and Olsen are both in terrific form, the former
hiding his grief under a stoic veneer, the latter balancing big-city
attitude with a genuine desire to find justice for the victim. Veteran
character actor Gil Birmingham is also superb as a father unsure of how
to deal with his earth-shattering loss. If this all sounds a bit heavy,
well it is, but Sheridan's careful to inject a healthy dose of suspense
and mild action to keep the drama gripping rather than overbearing; the
finale in particular turns the movie on its head in an unpredictable
but extremely effective manner. An intelligent, slow burning and
provocative viewing that enthrals from start to finish, Wind River is
an understated gem that deserves an audience.
Taylor Sheridan has done it again
I was lucky enough to see this at the Nantucket Film Festival back in
June and I thought it was excellent. And based on the response of the
people around me in the packed theater, I wasn't the only one. The
applause at the end was loud and long. The movie ended up coming in
second at the festival, right behind behind The Big Sick.
I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than, Hell or High Water.
Definitely more than Sicario.
The scenery, the score, the dialogue and the acting were all on point.
Some of Jeremy Renner's best work. He's been spending so much time
playing spy and superhero lately that I think people tend to forget
that he was nominated for Hurt Locker and The Town. His performance
here is even better.
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Well Directed, Beautifully Shot, And Quality Acting!
When actors decide they want to make the transition to the other side
of the camera and direct films, it can be a dicey proposition. It makes
me even more nervous when said actor to director decides they don't
have the acting out of their system and want to keep acting, but with
"Wind River," Taylor Sheridan (best known for "Sons of Anarchy," but
also the writer of both "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water" with this
completing his American Frontier Trilogy) separates himself in order to
focus on directing a wonderful based-on-a-true-story tale.
Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, a tracker who works for the Fish and
Game Commission in Wyoming who gets caught up in the investigation of
the murder of a young Native American woman on a local reservation
during a series of brutal snowstorms. He partners with FBI agent Jane
Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) as they try to navigate the elements and even
the law as it pertains to the reservation itself and a very thin law
enforcement department headed up by Gen (Graham Greene).
I know there is not much to the above summary, but that is all you
really need to know about this film, besides the fact that I REALLY
enjoyed it as one can do with the material involved. Make no mistake:
this is a dark film that deals with very haunting subject matter, so
there is quite a bit of weight to it, but Sheridan treats this story
with the highest level of respect by allowing his very well written
script to drive it while still shooting it beautifully. To see such
beautiful landscaping (actually shot in Utah) take my breath away while
still understanding the danger of what the elements bring from the
wildlife to the weather and even the inhabitants add a great layer to
the story, but what takes it to the next level is the score from Nick
Cave and Warren Ellis (not THAT Warren Ellis) that frames each and
every scene perfectly without giving what is coming up ahead.
From a performance standpoint, I really dug the way that both Renner
and Olsen dialed it WAY back within their characters with Renner
keeping Lambert simple and focused on the task at hand and Olsen
showing how Banner is just trying to do the right thing while
attempting to understand the situation she in AND asserting the
authority she has representing the Bureau. Greene gives great balance
and levity to their dynamic while keeping his character involved as a
reminder of the heightened sensitivity of their situation.
The Weinsteins' eye for film strikes again here, and I am also looking
forward to where Sheridan's career behind the camera goes as well. For
this being the second time he has helmed a film, this is incredibly
impressive and should at least be on your "need to check out" list if
not all the way to "must see".