Director: Taylor Sheridan Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene Running Time: 111 minutes
It would maybe be unfair to say that Wind River, the directorial debut of Sicario and Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan, has bad intentions. A title card shown in the film’s final moments, which damningly reveals that the FBI does not keep statistics on missing Native American women, whose numbers remain unknown, aims to highlight the dismissive treatment of Native Americans by the US government. Which is probably evidence that the intentions here are good, but we all know where paths paved with good intentions tend to lead. Wind River occasionally taps into the same weary, dying heart of America melancholy that made Hell or High Water one of last year’s best films, but it’s difficult not to see its story as using the death of a young Native American woman to explore the pain and emotional redemption of Jeremy Renner, rather than the victims the film positions itself as having sympathy for. What this film wants to take a look at is certainly worth seeing it, but this is a story about a murdered Native American woman that looks down on women and sidelines Native Americans.