Wind River (2017)
In the third film of Taylor Sheridan's so-called American Frontier trilogy, incidentally the first of them he also directed as well as wrote, it's not the writing which stands out, but rather the direction. As with the brilliant Hell or High Water from last year, Wind River is a film about forgotten communities in remote parts of the United States. The story deals with a suspicious disappearance and death in Wind River Indian Reservation, a region where the film tells us that disappearances of girls in particular are frequent and don't necessarily get investigated. These are harsh lands and conditions to live in, and the desolate apathy of these characters are thrown at us from the outset, as Sheridan wants us to feel the constant cold and hardships of the place. The story is interesting as a classically structured whodunnit. What really stands out with Wind River, however, is Sheridan's skill in setting up scenes and making every one of them almost boil over with suspense. In this respect the film is reminiscent of Jeff Nichols' work (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter), another young filmmaker with his heart and soul in rural USA.