‘Wind River’ will make your blood freeze!


Fabian Brims, Staff Writer

After his screenplays for ‘Sicario’ and ‘Hell or High Water,’ writer and director Taylor Sheridan completes his ‘American Frontier’ trilogy with his second feature ‘Wind River’ starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

In rural Wyoming, US Fish and Wildlife Service agent Corey Lambert (Renner) finds the body of a young woman out in the snowy wilderness who was raped and died after running barefoot through the wilderness. Rookie FBI agent Jane Banner (Olsen) is flown into the dismal Indian reservation Wind River where the crime happened. “People have nothing left but the snow and the silence,” Lambert tells Banner at one point, describing the disheartening situation of the Native Americans, many of whom are addicted to drugs or alcohol and are unemployed. The duo starts to investigate and quickly uncovers some hints thanks to Lambert’s tracking skills. But time is running out because the snow keeps falling, covering the evidence with a blinding layer of white.

Right now Taylor Sheridan is the go-to person for good neo-noir. He once again delivers a detailed script full of quiet yet driven characters, clashing with curious rookies looking for guidance in rural, treacherous landscapes. This recipe works once again in ‘Wind River.’ Sheridan is not only a good writer but also a versatile director, delivering a well-crafted movie that shines a beacon of light in a hopeless environment. Under his careful direction, Jeremy Renner’s performance is reminiscent of his role in ‘The Hurt Locker,’ the Oscar-winning movie that skyrocketed his career in 2008. He is reunited in this movie with his Marvel-colleague Elizabeth Olsen, and she is the surprise of this movie. Her acting shows the character’s vulnerability but also her strength, and she definitely demonstrates that she can handle much more than the role as a comic book side-character.

The skillful cinematographer Ben Richardson captures the beautiful but blinding snowy landscapes of Wyoming and contrasts it with the grey and dirty reservation where the snow turns into mud creating a bleak atmosphere that covers the town like a blizzard. When Lambert tracks down a family of mountain lions, the movie almost turns into an episode of ‘Planet Earth.’ This documentary-style approach leads to a highly realistic movie, and it shows the dismal situation of the people in the reservation, where escape is the only way out of a vicious circle of hopelessness and addiction.

‘Wind River’ is a suspenseful thriller that turns into a fight for life or death in the last act. Everyone involved did an amazing job, lead by writer and director Taylor Sheridan. The great cast includes strong characters portrayed by Graham Greene and Jon Bernthal, and the beautiful cinematography rounds up a breathtaking movie. Last but not least is the soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. The musicians, who already worked together in Cave’s band ‘The Bad Seeds,’ create a sensitive sound, which never puts itself in the foreground but supports the story subtly.

Thrilling, entertaining and delivering an important message about modern-day America, this film is more than relevant and a must-see for true-crime-fans and suspense-junkies. Make sure to check it out!


If you enjoyed these movies, you’ll love ‘Wind River’

Sicario, Hell or High Water, No Country for Old Men, Chinatown,

A Simple Plan, Nightcrawler

Wind River (USA, 2017)

Written & directed by Taylor Sheridan

Produced by Peter Berg

Cinematography by Ben Richardson

Music by Nick Cave, Warren Ellis

Edited by Gary D. Roach

With Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Julia Jones, Kelsey Chow and Graham Greene

111min, R-rated

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