It is rare for me to go to a film having never seen a trailer for it. However, I went into Wind River only knowing that it was written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. I loved both Sicario and Hell or Highwater so I willingly went blind into his newest film. It was definitely the right decision.
Wind River shows the talent of everyone involved
Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) discovers the body of Natalie (Kelsey Asbille) while tracking some wild animals as part of his job on a Native American reservation. The local chief of police, Ben (Graham Greene), calls in the FBI, but he gets a sole agent, Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen), who is clearly is unprepared. Cory and Jane team up as they look for the person or persons responsible for Natalie’s death.
Renner should definitely be in talks for an Oscar nomination this year. He is at the top of his game in this film and really owns every scene he’s in. He either helps elevate Olsen or she too is bringing it at a level not seen in all of her other performances. The two have great chemistry and it’s strictly professional between the characters. Yet, there is clearly respect garnered between them and it is refreshing. Both get moments to shine in deeply emotional sequences and it really works perfectly in this film.
Sheridan really seems to have a grasp of writing excellent characters. That’s what stood out the most in Hell or Highwater and it is definitely the case for Wind River. It’s not just good characters in bland settings of course, as the stories they’re in are compelling and often garner lots of sympathy from the audience. His direction of Wind River, which he didn’t do for Sicario or Hell or Highwater, is solid. There are a few technical hiccups in the film, but nothing that can’t simply be overlooked.
Wind River is a tough watch, but one that earns every difficult scene the audience has to sit through. The entire cast is great and Sheridan isn’t afraid to let the scene sit a moment longer in the silence. It is a film that demonstrates the power of storytelling. Wind River is a Must See film that many people will probably sleep on. If it’s near you, don’t be that person!