Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America – Willamette Week

Posted: August 10, 2017 at 5:59 am

Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation is as sprawling as it is empty. It's prone to blizzards except for when it's too cold even for snow. It's a hell of a place to examine an ignored America and a fitting setting for a noir thriller.

In the directorial debut from Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario and Hell or High Water) a game tracker (Jeremy Renner) discovers the frozen body of a young Native woman. A hardscrabble investigation unfolds, and the tracker joins forces with an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen), the tribal police chief (Graham Greene) and myriad snowmobiles.

Sheridan excels at simple turns of phrase and leading us into a rat's nest of violence. But Wind River meditates on loss more than it burns through plot, and it occasionally feels heavy handed. We get itRenner's character has a backstory that makes this crime personal. There are constant references to predators and prey, and it's fueled with male aggression and female pain.

But while those pitfalls are common, Wind River's unexplored geography, depth of spirit and honoring of survivalism are not.

CRITIC'S RATING: 3/4 Stars

Rated R. Bridgeport, Division, Tigard, Vancouver.

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Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America - Willamette Week

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