Acclaimed writer Taylor Sheridan dives into the director's chair bringing his unique voice to life in The Weinstein Company's Wind River. Moving from the comfort of Texas and the south to the winters of Wyoming Sheridan has created another breathtaking showcase of his talent.
A quick staple in Taylor's work so far is the wonderful depth of his characters. Like in Sicario, he brings a female outsider into an unfamiliar territory. These women scream similarities to Jodie Foster's iconic performance in The Silence of the Lambs and Elizabeth Olsen does her best to measure up Wind River. Sheridan's dynamic of showcasing a vast and stark scenery is mirrored by his incredible casting choices. Jeremy Renner as our lead looks perfectly at home in his role as the stoic tracker in the Wyoming wildnerness on the reservation. Renner's ability to work off his fellow actors highlights his best qualities. The moments with Gil Birmingham in particular linger in the audience's memory and help push home Sheridan's final message. The film is a beacon of the terrible reality that Native American girls go missing routinely with no follow up or investigation, unlike any other race. Wind River allows us to witness what happens when people do care and can also figure out the mystery behind the truth.
The harshness of the environment is matched by the hopelessness of reservation life. As we navigate through the murder investigation we are given different examples of those archetypes. The film, howerver, does an amazing job of also highlighting the warrior spirit that resides in its characters. Like in Sheridan's previous writing credits the villains carry their own weight. In the end though, it's Renner's determination and intelligence that discovers the correct path to finding the answers.
The acting, the landscape, the script and the heart behind this film make it one of the year's best. It's clear that Sheridan feels connected to his characters and their lives. He also has an incredible ability to make it universal and thus showcases why this film is one of the year's most important.
The film opens today.
For more information please check out the facebook page for Wind River.