Wind River15¦ Blu-ray, DVD
Due to recent events, there’s a veritable chill in the air when mentioning the once great Weinstein Company. It’s ironic then, that one of their most recent (and possibly final?) releases is set in the freezing cold environs of Wyoming. But unlike Harvey, this particular release is definitely worth a cold embrace.
A young, Native American teenage girl is found dead in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. The local police call in the FBI, and they send in Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen). She’s not exactly local to these parts, being stationed in the more bearable climes of Las Vegas, but she just so happened to be the nearest agent to the crime.
Being the proverbial fish out of water, Banner leans on the experienced Corey Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a local hunter, for his guidance in the snowy terrain. Together, working as a slightly unorthodox team, they investigate the suspicious death and attempt to track down the killer against hostile weather conditions.
Once in a while a film comes along where one of its major components isn’t its stars or director, but the location. Wind River is one such film. Set in the wintry white wilds of Wyoming, there’s more than a whiff of a modern day western about it. The snowy vistas, looking so stunning in widescreen, are both beautiful and brutal to look at, and make the perfect accessory to murder.
The film’s protagonists are not only up against it as far as their case is concerned, but also battling the elements. And it’s this duel conflict that gives Wind River it’s deliciously icy edge.
Director Taylor Sheridan manages to down play everything, apart from the scenery, with both its stars Olsen and Renner producing convincingly grounded, earthy performances. It’s part of his plan to lead his audience into a trap, where he hits them hard with a stunning, pivotal scene that there’s little chance of them seeing coming in the snow-capped distance.
Wind River is an exceptional watch, with Sheridan capturing the brutality of both nature and mankind in tandem with true gusto. It’s a captivating thriller that deserves all the heat it gets.