Wind River (2016) | Cannes Film Festival 2017

May 18th, 2017
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Taylor Sheridan | Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner | US | Thriller | 111min

Taylor Sheridan is the writer behind Cannes UCR 2016 breakout hit Hell or High Water and scripted the competition title Sicario in 2015. He returns to Cannes this year with his own mystery thriller set in Wyoming and starring  Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen.

Shedding more troubling light on American contempo society this action thriller explores events surrounding the violent murder of a teenage girl found in a snowy corner of Wyoming and its investigation by Renner Cory Lambert, a  thoughtful and sensitive wildlife ranger who clearly has some issues relating to the recent loss of his own teenage daughter and breakdown in his marriage. Joining him in the investigation (Sicario-style in black SUV) is Olsen’s rather green FBI sidekick, Jane Banner. Clearly Cory is a hands-on type who is used to the territory, whereas she is not.

It also emerges that the dead girl has a brother whose sidekick Pete (James Jordan) seems to have some past connection with the oil company located on the Native American land, and although her father (Gil Birmingham) offers little insight into possible perpetrators, clues start to reveal that Pete is in some way connected.

Their inquiries lead them to an alarming confrontation with a group of Mexican oil-workers and this rather melodramatic second act sits uncomfortably with what has gone before. But Sheridan makes this good in the final denouement which brings us to an impressive close in this enjoyable thriller with its twists and dramatic turns. Clearly Sheridan is still learning but his directorial debut lacks the dialogue finesse of his former outings. WIND RIVER is solid entertainment showing Sheridan to be honing his skills as a consummate talent in the making. MT






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