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FLICKS: Wind River

Posted on 07 September 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The motion picture box office recently broke a dubious record last weekend, the worst Labor Day Weekend ever. While college football and the U.S. Open Tennis provided fine entertainment distractions from hurricane phobias and nuclear war fears, there are actually some fine movies on the big screen at the moment.

Theater chains are holding over movies that have been critically acclaimed with positive audience reactions, namely Meghan Levy, Logan Lucky and Baby Driver, sleeper hits from the summer of 2017. With much hype and active word-of-mouth, It opens this weekend and is based in part on the Stephen King omnibus novel. If It is sold out this weekend, then Wind River is a fine substitute.

Wind River belongs in the same worlds of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, with a twist of the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. Set in the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, this film explores the wild west. As grizzled Sheriff Ben (Graham Greene) says to naive FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) during a tense standoff at a crack house cabin, “This is not the land of back-up. This is the land of … you’re on your own.”

Grieving father and independent tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) stumbles across the body of a teenaged Cherokee girl that used to play with his deceased daughter.Given drastic weather conditions, the FBI sends Jane Banner to investigate the apparent homicide.  At first, disgusted by Sheriff Ben’s lack of enthusiasm to continue the investigation, Jane recruits Cory.

While one expects the usual cliches from an action-adventure movie (innocent city girl meets grizzled rural survivalist), Wind River starts with mutual respect for the two protagonists that grows into mutual admiration. The film is filled with many surprises, both scary and darkly humorous.

Having earned criticalacclaim for Hell or High Water, director Taylor Sheridan has crafted a fine story on the big screen. Wind River is both a noir mystery and an expansive western that looks great on the big screen. The film is also filled with quiet moments and sparse dialogue. However, when words are spoken, the dialogue is full of adages and wisdom. Quentin Tarantino could learn some things from Sheridan’s screenplays.

If Hurricane Irma is does not take out our power this weekend, then the Miami Dolphins/Tampa Bay Buccaneers game will hold our interest this Sunday afternoon. However, go see Wind River some afternoon. You won’t be disappointed.

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