Wind River

Native American Woman is the ONLY demographic for which “missing persons” statistics are NOT recorded.

Directed by: Taylor Sheridan

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, the cold of Wyoming

wind riverA slow burn that will never lose your interest. Jeremy Renner does a great job playing Cory Lambert, a gaming tracker who works on a large Reservation in Wyoming. It is quickly revealed that he and his wife have divorced due to the tragic death of their teenage daughter. Renner plays this role subdued and smart. A man who has been beaten down by the unfairness of life and the world, yet he has chose to keep moving forward.

Lambert gets a call to go to the Reservation to hunt a lion. While there he discovers a young teenage girl dead in the snow. An investigation begins with local law enforcement until the FBI sends Jane Banner, an inexperienced agent who has never seen a flake of snow before. As local authorities begin to wipe their hands of the investigation, Banner, played really well by Elizabeth Olsen, forces them to keep it open. An obvious rape/homicide, she also enlists the help of Lambert for her cause.

Lamberts knowledge of the land and elements is what carries the investigation forward while Banners drive for the truth ruffles many feathers along the way. In the end it isn’t hard to find the true story of what happened, but what’s unveiled is a deeper subplot about the culture in this part of the world. When a Native American girl goes missing here not a lot of effort is given towards finding her or the truth. The lesson learned from this specific missing girl is how strong her human spirit was. How hard she fought for her life while the rest of the world didn’t care.

The movie will jerk a tear or two out of you. Any father of a young daughter may want to give them an extra hug before seeing this one. All of the acting is exquisite. Nothing is over the top or too Shakespearian dramatic. Even a very brief appearance by Jon Bernthal is really well done.

The movie is well worth your time. Again, its a slow burn but has enough storyline to keep you interested. When plot-lines are revealed it’s pleasing that they don’t try and hide an insane twist of fate or “shocking” ending. It all holds true to the theme of the film. The add-in at the end about the missing Native American girls is a little off though. I didn’t get that element throughout the film necessarily, so to see it during the end-credits felt odd. Other than that I recommend this film.

7.5 outta 10

-Brian

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