Title – Wind River (2017)
Director – Taylor Sheridan (feature debut)
Cast – Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal
Plot – After the murder of a teenage girl on the lands of Indian reservation Wind River, animal tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) teams up with FBI agent Jane Banner (Olsen) to track down the perpetrator of the crime.
“This isn’t the land of waiting for back up. This is the land of you’re on your own”
Review by Eddie on 12/12/2017
Over the course of the last few years, actor turned screenwriter Taylor Sheridan has crafted out an incredibly consistent collection of films with his delivering of some of recent memories most layered and effective thrillers.
Debuting with 2015’s Sicario, then advancing to an Oscar nomination for his work on last year’s Hell or High Water, the actor who was previously a well-known figure in front of the camera for his roles in TV shows like Veronica Mars and Sons of Anarchy, has quickly graduated to the writer and director of his own productions that has here culminated in one of 2017’s most memorable films.
Wind River feels cut from the same cloth as Sicario and Hell or High Water, the grittiness, humanity and carefully considered humour of those films is to be found here but Wind River feels like a wholly unique proposition in many ways, showcasing that Sheridan has an innate ability to craft out what could be seen as familiar scenarios, in totally different shades of light.
A murder mystery that is so much more than your typical fare, Sheridan’s film takes place entirely in and around the Wyoming Indian reservation of Wind River as Jeremy Renner’s hunter Cory Lambert works alongside Elizabeth Olsen’s out of her depth FBI agent Jane Banner to solve the murder of young reservation teenager Nathalie in the harsh surrounds of the wintery setting.
Sheridan captures the harsh beauty of this natural landscape brilliantly that is enhanced by Ben Richardson’s impressive DOP work, while the moody and atmospheric score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis further encapsulates the isolation and harsh realities of this unforgiving landscape.
The captivating time and place that Wind River takes place in works wonderfully alongside what could well be a career best performance from Renner, while Olsen continues to prove her abilities as one of the best young actresses working in the industry.
Both Lambert and Banner give their actors layered and believable characters to portray, with Lambert’s personal history and strong affiliation with the lands he is working to catch a predator on resonating in particular as Sheridan’s impressive script work tells us all we need to know about this troubled soul’s past.
At the core of Sheridan’s film is also the undeniably gripping mystery of what happened to Nathalie, who’s to blame for this young girl’s life being cut short? and while Wind River ends up being much more than just a simple “whodunit”, Sheridan has again found a suspenseful narrative drive in his screenplay that will have many viewers glued to the screen from start to finish.
Final Say –
Featuring an awards worthy turn from Jeremey Renner and script work by Sheridan, Wind River is an absolute must-see. Full of intrigue, heart and a strong emotionally resonate payoff; Wind River is easily one of the year’s most effective thrillers and one of the year’s strongest films regardless of genre.
4 ½ homemade bullets out of 5