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Wind River: A Very Good Thriller That Proves Taylor Sheridan is One of the Best Writers Around

January 25, 2018

Director/writer Taylor Sheridan  has been on a tear with his screenplays for Sicario, Hell or High Water, and now Wind River. I believe he is one of the best working writers today because he is able to combine poetic dialogue, genuine heart and action scenes that make you feel like you are part of the action. His screenplays focus on the fringes of society where lawlessness and politics go hand in hand and are often accompanied by sudden violence and death. Whether it is on the Mexican border or Texas back roads, Sheridan loves wide open spaces that are home to lawlessness and great dialogue.

Wind River centers on the investigation of a dead body found in an uninhabited part of the Wind River Indian reservation in Wyoming. Fish and Wildlife Agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) discovers the  young woman without shoes or proper winter gear and the cause of death is a pulmonary hemorrhage caused by the rapid inhalation of sub-zero air. The main problem is the autopsy shows signs of trauma and rape, however, since the cause of death was a pulmonary hemorrhage the local police, Lambert and FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) can’t request more help from the FBI. Thus, they are under-manned, without clues and due to the closely-knit community can’t get many people to talk.

Watch the clip to get a feel for the surroundings and dialogue.

Their investigation takes them to the back roads of the reservation where the inhabitants range from relaxed to drug-addled. We are also introduced to the parents of the victim who are crushed that their daughter suffered so terribly. Lambert also lost his daughter years back and this latest murder to one of his daughter’s friends brings back horrible memories and also a redemption of sorts.  What follows is heartbreaking (due to its true story nature) and breathtaking.

Taylor Sheridan nails his directorial debut and I love that he builds to an action scene that I haven’t been able to shake. When you watch as many movies as I do it’s hard to hold on to everything. However, there is a crazy tense standoff that left my mouth agape and in fear of Jeremy Renner. I bet that Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen were happy to get away from their superhero roles and spout some great dialogue. I’d love to give my favorite scene away, but due to its spoiler nature I don’t want to wreck a very good Renner speech that he gives at the end. It is simultaneously uplifting and also punches you right in the gut with the grief behind it. So, instead of wrecking that moment, I’ve added another clip below that features Renner crushing some dialogue.

Watch Wind River and appreciate the work of Taylor Sheridan.

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