I took in "Wind River" yesterday and found it to be a very good movie, but perhaps one that is not for everyone.
Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, who wrote last year's excellent "Hell or High Water", "Wind River" is another tale that can be classified as a modern western. Jeremy Renner plays a tracker for the US Fish and Wildlife Service stationed in Wyoming. His job, as he describes it, is to "hunt predators", such as coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions who may be feasting on local ranchers' livestock. While out on the job one night, he discovers the body of a young Native American woman who had recently gone missing from the nearby Wind River Indian Reservation. Renner's job description changes to now include another kind of "predator" as he assists a young FBI Agent, played by Elizabeth Olsen, who is unprepared for conducting such an investigation in such forbidding territory as Wyoming in the winter.
There is a backstory to Renner's character that makes him more than just a little emotionally involved in the case that adds a real bit of human emotion to the movie. Of all the movies that I have seen thus far this year, Renner's performance is one that I will categorize as worthy of an Oscar nomination. He is really very good in the role.
"Wind River" tells the story of a violent act and more violence takes place as the story unwinds and resolves itself, so it can be disturbing in that regard. However, it is a very well written and acted movie, and worth seeing, and the Wyoming mountains location makes it a beautiful movie to look at, by the way. In my mind, it also puts the name Taylor Sheridan squarely in the forefront of my mind as far as movies go. If I see that he is involved in a movie, I will be very much inclined to see it.
Three Stars from The Grandstander.
Oh, and while I was watching "Wind River", Mrs. Grandstander was in another room of the Cinemark Multiplex watching "Home Again", the new romcom starring Reese Witherspoon. She gives it big Thumbs Up, and she especially enjoyed seeing Candice Bergen playing Witherspoon's mother in the movie.
Fun Fact About "Wind River": Elizabeth Olsen, who plays FBI Agent Jane Banner is the younger sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who starred on some sitcom back in the late eighties or early nineties.