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February 13, 2019

Wind River (2017) --- "Nothing Is Harder To Track Than The Truth."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Written and directed by the talented Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Wind River (2017) is a decent crime drama set against the beautiful winter backcountry of Wyoming (Utah) and tells the all too common story about a rookie FBI agent and big game hunter uncovering the mysterious murder of a young Native woman, Natalie, left in the frozen wilderness.

     Throughout most of his film, Sheridan features a principle character, usually a father, who is trying to make amends for a previous shortcoming that still haunts him. In Hell or High Water, it was Chris Pine's Toby and in Sicario it was Benicio Del Toro's Alejandro. Now we have Jeremy Renner's Cory Lambert, a wildlife reserve hunter who is haunted by the murder of his daughter Emily three years earlier. With the murder of Natalie, who was also Emily’s friend, Cory agrees to help bring justice (which he never got) and close to her family. Unexpectedly though, he finds hope in the knowledge or idea that, in the end, Emily fought just as hard as Natalie; pushing her body beyond what it was capable of if only to survive just a few seconds more. Wind River (2019) is poetic and hauntingly realistic, but it is not an easy watch. Not only does it deliver a dark and heavy subject matter realistically but the pace is slow-going and the story feels a bit anti-climactic. However, if you go into the film expecting to see more mystery and drama than action, then you will find this to be a superbly crafted film.
    Wind River benefits enormously from the quietly authoritative performance of Jeremy Renner (Avengers: Endgame) as Cory Lambert, Fish and Wildlife officer/hunter. With his affecting performance as a solitary man trying to do his best against opposition and sometimes overwhelming odds, Renner has proven that this is his best performance yet. Despite being the younger sister of the famed Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, from the ‘90s, Elizabeth Olsen (Very Good Girls, I Saw The Light) has matured into a legitimately persuasive and talented actress all on her own. Her role here as the rookie FBI agent is a shadow of her own novice career as an actress, she’s somewhat insecure among the veterans but smart enough to take their knowledge and advice into consideration. The secondary characters – Kelsey Chow (Yellowstone), Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves), Gil Birmingham (Twilight), Jon Bernthal (The Punisher TV series), and Julia Jones (New Moon) – all did great in their performances as well.

     Overall, Wind River (2019) poetic and haunting film that is not an easy watch. The story delivers dark and heavy subject matter realistically but the pace is slow-going and the story feels a bit anti-climactic. But where the story lacks in some areas, the cast performances deliver with Renner and Olsen being the most noteworthy. If you go in expecting for mystery than action, then I am sure you will enjoy this film.

"Luck doesn't live out here."
- Cory Lambert

Final Vote --- 7 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Cold Pursuit (2019)
Hell or High Water (2016)
Molly's Game (2017)
Sicario (2015)
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
The Town (2010)
Wind River (2017)
Winter Ridge (2018)

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