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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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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