Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” is another well-written and well-directed film from the actor/filmmaker. A thrilling murder mystery in a Indian reservation as a solo FBI agent and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent must work together to find out who raped/murdered a teenage girl. Recommended!
TITLE: Wind River
FILM RELEASE: 2017
DURATION: 107 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH and Spanish
RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2017
Directed by Taylor Sheridan
Written by Taylor Sheridan
Produced by Gregory Chou, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Erik Howsam, Joey Tufaro
Executive Producer: Colin Bates, David Dinerstein, Mike Drake, D.J. Guneheim, Bill Johnson, Ara Keshishian, Knate Lee, Doris Pfardrescher, Jason Resnick, William Sadleir, Jim Seibel, Todd Trosclair
Music by Federico Jusid
Cinematography by Flavio Martinez Labiano
Edited by Avi Youabian
Casting by Nancy Nayor
Production Design by Sarah Webster
Art Direction by Frank Zito
Set Decoration by Deanna Simmons
Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter
Elizabeth Olsen as Jane Banner
Jeremy Renner as Cory Lambert
Kelsey Asbille as Natalie
Julia Jones as Wilma
Teo Briones as Casey
Apesanahkwat as Dan Crowheart
Graham Greene as Ben
Tantoo Cardinal as Alice Croweheart
Eric Lange As Dr. Whitehurst
Gil Birmingham as Martin
Althea Sam as Annie
Tokala Black Elk as Sam Littlefeather
Martin Sensmeier as Chip
Tyler Laracca as Frank
WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a game tracker with deep community ties and a haunted past (Jeremy Renner) to investigate the mysterious killing of a local girl on a remote Native American reservation.
From actor/filmmaker Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”, “Sicario”) comes the murder mystery film “Wind River”, which Sheridan also wrote.
The film stars Jeremy Renner (“Arrival”, “The Hurt Locker”, “The Avengers”, “The Bourne Legacy”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Captain America: Civil War”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Godzilla”), Julia Jones (“The Twilight Saga” films, “Jonah Hex”, “The Ridiculous 6”), Graham Greene (“The Green Mile”, “Dances with Wolves”, “Die Hard with a Vengeance”), Kelsey Asbille (“The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Pair of Kings”, “Run”), Teo Briones (“Lethal Weapon”, “Pretty Little Liars”, “Longmire”), Apesanahkwat (“Bagdad Cafe”, “Skinwalkers”), Tantoo Cardinal (“Dances with Wolves”, “Legends of the Fall”), Gil Birmingham (“Twilight” films, “Hell or High Water”), Eric Lange (“Narcos”, “Lost”, “The Bridge”) and Tokala Black Elk (“The Revenant”, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”).
And now the film will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Lionsgate.
The film begins with a Native American running through the cold snow at the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, no shoes and bleeding in the head. Running with fear.
We are then introduced to Cory Lambert, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent who hunts after a wolf in the snow and shows his great marksmanship. We then see Cory go to pick up his son Casey (portrayed by Teo Briones) at his ex-wife Wilma’s (portrayed by Julia Jones) home. He sees a photo of his deceased daughter in the living room.
As Cory is about to take Casey home with him, Wilma tells him that she will never ever go back to the Indian Reservation.
While Casey stays with Corey at the reservation, he has to work and while at work in the reservation, he notices blood marks and goes to check it out and discovers the frozen body of 18-year-old Natalie Hanson (portrayed by Kelsey Asbilie), daughter of his friend Martin (portrayed by Gil Birmingham) and his wife Annie (portrayed by Althea Sam).
Cory reports to the local authorities and sheriff Ben (portrayed by Graham Greene) phones it in and FBI agent Jane Banner (who happened the nearest agent near Wyoming) is sent to the Wind River Indian Reservation, but immediately, she realizes that she is not aware of how things are or how things work at the reservation.
As Corey, Jane and Ben go to the body, she wants a rape kit ordered and wants her listed as a homicide. Jane asks if any structures nearby and the nearest is a 3 1/2 miles belonging to a tweaker named Sam and an oil rig with trailers with workers mles away. So, the question is why was she in the middle of nowhere?
Corey believes that she ran all the way there while it was 20 degrees below at night, cold air froze up her lungs and wherever she came from, she ran all the way to where she is found and her lungs burst.
Jane asks how long can someone run barefoot and Corey tells her that it depends on the person and their willingness to live.
Jane wants Corey to assist in the investigation an he agrees.
Jane and Ben then go to visit Natalie’s parents and when she asks Martin why he doesn’t know where his daughter is, he tells her that because she was an adult, they didn’t feel it was a need to ask those questions to her. Jane goes to interview Natalie’s mother and sees her slitting her wrist and bleeding.
We then see Corey visiting Martin and Martin begins crying and the two men embrace, showing they are good friends. Corey then explains to Martin of how he was able to go on after his daughter’s death after he went to a grief seminar and tells Martin the words given to him when his daughter died. Martin tells Corey to kill the person that killed his daughter, also telling him that Natalie was dating a guy and his son Chip may know. And that Chip (portrayed by Martin Sensemeier) is at Sam Littlefeather’s home.
The group then go to the only house near where Natalie was found dead, belonging to a guy named Sam Littlefeather (portrayed by Tokala Black Elk) and as they go there to speak to Chip, when Sam finds out that the FBI is at his place, he attacks Jane and Ben by spraying something in their eyes. She kills Sam in a firefight, while Corey talks to Chip, he is unaware of his sister’s rape and death.
And as they get deeper into this case, Jane learns that Corey has tracking skills and knows the reservation well. Let alone how to do an investigation in an area that experiences blizzards and will need the right equipment to get around the area.
She doesn’t know how people live, how they operate and she will desperately need his help in solving this case and finding out who was responsible for killing Natalie Hanson.
“Wind River” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality showcases wonderful closeup details, skin tones look natural. A lot of scenes are shot outdoors, so picture quality is very good. I saw no artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Wind River” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. The film features crystal clear dialogue while surround channels utilize the various firefights through the surround channels.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.
“Wind River” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes – (3:11) Featuring two deleted scenes
- Behind the Scenes Video Gallery – (9:55) Featuring interviews with Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and writer/director Taylor Sheridan.
“Wind River” comes with an Ultraviolet Digital HD Code.
Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen reunite in the murder mystery “Wind River”.
A film about a murder that takes place in the frozen Wind River Indian Reservation where blizzards happen constantly and life is unkind. But for U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent Corey Lambert (Renner), it’s his home and where he works.
But when he discovers a dead teen in the middle of nowhere, the daughter of a friend, because of a possible homicide, the FBI sends the agent most close to Wind River and it happens to be Jane Banner (Olsen) who is quite inexperienced, let alone knowing how people get around in the frozen reservation.
Because Lambert is experienced, she asks him to assist in the case and because it’s a family friend that was murdered, Lambert agrees and also promises the murdered teen’s father, a good friend that he will catch who is responsible.
The film manages to showcase how, for many of the people living in the reservation, it’s not a place to escape from. How the conditions are also unforgiving.
Lambert’s daughter died on the reservation and his ex-wife has no intention of ever going back to the Indian reservation ever again. And now, his friends daughter is found murdered and now he, along with Jane and the local sheriff Ben (portrayed by Graham Greene) look to find who killed 18-year-old Natalie.
Filmmaker/writer Taylor Sheridan has no doubt done quite well from transitioning from actor to writer, Sheridan received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Screenplay” for the 2016 film “Hell or Highwater” and also did well with his film “Sicario” (2016).
Sheridan along with cinematographer Ben Richardson were able to capture the brutal conditions at the reservation. Sheridan does a great job with pacing and character dynamics as Jane, who is a by-the-books FBI agent, knowing that Wind River is a place that is out of her league and she needs the help of Corey Lambert who knows the area but also how to deal with people and getting the clues necessary. Because there is no backup and there is no help, it’s pretty much them trying to solve this homicide case.
The film also has a message of how in America, missing persons statistics are kept for every demographic except Native American women, so it’s not known of how many missing Native American women there are.
I had to do my research on this and the information I found was shocking. That on some reservations, native women are murdered at more than 10 times the national average. I learned that in Canada, indigenous leaders and advocates pressure the government to confirm the number of missing and murdered indigenous women, but the United States has not addressed this issue.
In a 2005 study authorized by Congress, it was found that between 1979-1992, homicide was the third leading cause of death among Native females at age 15-34 and 75% were killed by family members and acquaintances. But in that study, the number of missing Native women was not included.
I had no idea of this, nor is it featured in the news or newspapers, so at least with a film, “Wind River” can hopefully lead to exposure of the problem and the issues of violence in Indian country.
As for the film, the Blu-ray features wonderful picture quality and lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and good use of surround sound during action scenes. And there are a few special features included as well.
Overall, Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” is another well-written and well-directed film from the actor/filmmaker. A thrilling murder mystery in a Indian reservation as a solo FBI agent and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent must work together to find out who raped/murdered a teenage girl. Recommended!