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Wind River

Sometimes a trailer doesn't do a movie justice. It might make a film look rather run of the mill, without any indication that it's something special. Thankfully, there's Stardust and all of the positive reactions to this movie moved it up my priority list. It was so worth it.

Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (best known for writing Sicario and Hell or High Water), Wind River is basically a murder mystery on an Indian reservation. A young girl is found dead in the snow by a local tracker (Jeremy Renner), and a lone inexperienced FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate. Sounds pretty basic, and again, that's what the trailer suggested, but this is actually an incredibly solid screenplay and a very well put together mystery.

The film is strong in its pacing and suspense. It's a slow burn, but a satisfying one, not dragged out. The angle of having a tracker involved brings a perspective that's not often seen in other films. Not to mention the beautiful wintery landscape that also introduced a sense of isolation and despair.

But the real strength was in the characters. Renner's character is invested because the victim was the best friend of his daughter who was killed a few years prior under similar mysterious circumstances. The results are Renner's best performance in years, and a reminder of the actor we saw break out in The Hurt Locker, instead of the Avenger that blends into the background. Olsen also had a fire and a drive to her that further fueled the story. Her passion combined with Renner's pain made for an electric combination.

Overall, this was simply an expertly crafted film, on all fronts. Last Sunday my Church group had us go around the room and introduce ourselves and give an example of some beautiful art we recently experienced. This movie was my answer.

Wind River - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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