For every Alex Garland who successfully shifts their focus you get a David Koepp who does not. Taylor Sheridan has added an extra step to the writer-to-director process, by acting first. He’s clearly talented, having penned two of the best screenplays of the past decade back-to-back. WIND RIVER is Sheridan’s least successful effort, possibly because he shouldn’t try and do everything. It’s far from inept, with a decent level of craft in the way the inhospitable but beautiful winter Wyoming is shot and it has a message worth talking about, but for whatever reason it lacks weight for such potentially punchy material. Wind River’s characters aren’t as fully-formed as those in HELL OR HIGH WATER, not as fascinatingly contradictory as SICARIO‘s. Aside from a late, contextualising flashback, performances rarely get to rise above the surface-level, any grounding in atrocities people can commit to each other given the opportunity is lost in pretty standard. SSP
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I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourites include Bong Joon-ho, Danny Boyle, the Coen Brothers, Nicolas Winding Refn, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Taika Waititi and Edgar Wright. All reviews and articles are original works owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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