Taylor Sheridan really broke out with his script for Sicario. I’m not the biggest fan of the film although I admit its quite good. Then he wrote the script for Hell or High Water which felt like a country styled thriller that we’d see from the Coen Brothers. Here, he comes not only writing but this time directing Wind River. I didn’t know much about the film before going into it. I have to say this is Sheridan’s best work. Its so sharp, strong, thrilling, and horrific at the same time. I’m still in thought of what I’ve just seen. People really need to check this out.
The film takes place in the Wind River reservation in Wyoming. In the freezing cold terrain a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent stumbles across the frozen dead body of an 18 year old Native American girl. Upon further investigation it is revealed that she had been sexually assaulted and died in the cold. With the help of an FBI special agent, the pair try to figure out what exactly occurred while trying to bring justice to all parties involved. The film is pretty much a modern but loose noir that becomes an intense barn burning thriller as it goes along.
Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen work together (not for the first time), and both are quite excellent and very convincing in their roles. I LOVE Elizabeth Olsen and love that she took on a role where she gets to show off a bit of range. Wonderful in a role as a brace and committed agent who still can get distracted by her surroundings and let the harrowing details of the case get to her. Renner is just a badass, a great sharpshooter. One of the other highlights of the film is the locale setting of this. Absolutely heightens the experience.
The film has disturbing moments (revelation of the case). Sheridan once again explores mystery by diving into the pure evil and the justice that comes with it. Tense shootouts, bloody moments, and a thrilling third act; Sheridan masters it all. Its really sharply written. I thought the film meandered a bit at the end but that’s really the only thing I can pick out from an otherwise fun ride. This film didn’t get a lot of buzz this year which is slightly outrageous.