I've been away from the movie theater for a few weeks which is for me an eternity. So I really needed a good solid film to get me back into the flow.
"Wind River" was playing at the right time slot at Middlebrook in Ocean Township and off I went (plus I knew in the back of my mind that local movie Guru Joan Ellis joanellis.com liked it)
This movie visually grabs one right away set in the gorgeous landscapes of the snow cover Wycoming on Native American lands.
US fish and game specialist/tracker Cory Lambert (played by Jeremy Renner) is perfectly cast. He is not Native American by blood but by marriage, but has the looks and the cultural understanding.
While out on tracking assignment, he finds a murdered young woman he knows in the middle of the wild. Because the crime occurs on Federal Land, the FBI is brought in to investigate. They send in lone agent Banner (Elizabeth
Olsen) who is pretty ill prepared for the harshness of the weather and understanding the nuances of the Native American Indian culture.
She lobbies successfully to get Renner to help her because she knows the Bureau is not going to send any additional staff. Renner is dealing with his own demons with the recent death of his daughter who was good friends with the victim.
He agrees and so begins a nicely tense investigative story. The combination of Renner's lifelong toned local instincts/experience and the tried and true FBI skills of Banner, another body and the pieces start to come together.
Oddly edited at points, but works and the who-dunnit gets solved. The melding of the Native American culture, history and modern realities along with the harshness of the weather and Renner, this movie doesn't let you go. Graham Greene plays the highest ranking tribal law authority. You will recognize him right off from a number of pictures. His quiet, subtle, experienced local nature works perfectly for this role and you end up really liking him on the screen. This was a very solid movie.