Taylor Sheridan has quickly become one of my favorite screenwriters. Sicario, Hell or High Water, Without Remorse, and the TV series Yellowstone all came out of his head, as did the poignant 2017 crime drama Wind River. Pairing MCU alumni Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a veteran hunter and an FBI agent, this film highlights the absurd lack of statistics about missing Native American women. Turns out nobody really knows how many Native women go missing every year. There's so much legal red tape surrounding reservations that no one can find out. This film makes that known and provides a compelling character-driven narrative in the process.
On the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, a white hunter named Cory Lambert (Renner) stumbles onto the body of a Native American teen named Natalie (Asbille). Out of their depth, the local PD calls in the feds, who arrive in the form of Agent Jane Banner (Olsen). Olsen is not used to the terrain or locals, so she asks Cory to help her solve this case. Cory, who once lost his teenage daughter in a similar fashion, agrees. The truth about Natalie's murder is heartbreaking, vicious, and hard to watch. It's an uncomfortable scene, one in which Jon Bernthal and Kelsey Asbille excel in.
Wind River is not for the faint of heart, but it's a powerful film. Renner and Olsen are fantastic together, and the dialogue is thought-provoking and simple. It's a film about loss, grief, pain, and what it takes to move on, if that's even possible.