Taylor Sheridan concludes an impressive trilogy of terse, masculine thrillers with "Wind River," a film that punctuates its bruised melancholy with moments of wince-inducing violence. Sheridan's stories are as much about their settings as they are their characters, and he seems admirably committed to investigating regions of the country that the coasts have written off. "Wind River" may be his finest effort yet.
Sheridan wrote (but didn't direct) Hell or High Water, which had a fine script but looked too glossy by half. Glossiness isn't a problem here—the soil feels dirtier. Wind River aspires to be something of a "borderland noir" where the border is between Americans, and while it's a prosaically linear murder mystery and no real distinct style, there are moments at the end where it make its most obvious points feel alive.
Almost missing out on this one (that awful title, run-off-the-mill premise, untested director, and very few people talking about it) and thank God I didn't. Taylor Sheridan might have written SICARIO and HELL OR HIGH WATER for Denis Villeneueve and David McKenzie career advancement, but damn bastard saved the best script for himself.
The hard-bitten poetry ("a place of silence and snow") lives between clichéd character moments (Olsen-Renner romantic subtext) and, what appears to be, the writer's strategic use of social consciousness (title card says FBI stats on missing Native American women are unknown). WIND RIVER is a grim murder-mystery with a refreshing old school charm. But it pales in comparison to THE PLEDGE, a more complex and true film.
A grim, affecting, chilly companion piece to "Hell or High Water." Sheridan isn't as sure-footed a director as Villeneuve or McKenzie, but the measured pace results in some authentic, sleeper gut-punch moments, and allows Olsen, Renner, Greene and Birmingham time to shine with their rich characters.
Was it The best way to waste him? I'd have left him near the mountain lions' lair, but maybe I'm mean and loathe far too much serial rapists./Getting sick of the recurring misogynistic trope that demands that "strong" women characters must too often be abuse survivors. Must overcome "adversity" means they need to be abused. Can't you be a normal empowered woman in lieu of a victim?Sorry, no ovation for you.*FACEPALM*
A strong personification of "sheep country" in both a locational and masculine sense, all while being competently directed by Taylor Sheridan, who will one day make a film that will garner numerous Oscars. "Wind River" is slow to start, but once it gains momentum, it becomes one of the few movies that we see maybe once a year that dials back and reminds us about the complexity and emotion behind one person's death.
Sheridan’s characters aren’t rich, quirky or glamorous, instead they’re battling economic difficulties and insurmountable grief. His attention to detail and nature’s relentlessness help elevate a nihilistic narrative into a poetic one. Channeling Michael Mann, Sheridan crafts a film with real consequences, where the cold kills, the sound of bullets is nightmarish, and every scene might be the last for our heroes.