Jeremy Reener – Wind River – One of the most powerful performances in modern films.
It’s been the worst summer for Hollywood in decades. Luckily, I’ve avoided most of the catastrophes. Partly, by using the ratings of Rotten Tomatoes (Hollywood blames for much of their problems) and partly by Googling movies that seem interesting to me. There’s not too many of these movies, these days. Mostly, it’s a horrible choice for anything original, not anchored to some studio “tent pole” franchise in some way or another. So much creative talent is focused on television and the idea of series rather than one time shots like films. In some ways, screenwriters focusing on feature films seem like the last guys on the Titanic. Certainly the movie industry of Hollywood is under attack from those small screens on iPhones and ideas like Netflex on consumer television.
Perhaps it takes a true cowboy to become the Hero who rescues the film industry from its narcissism and force it to look outward rather than constantly inward, to the exclusion of all outsiders.
This is one of the brilliantly achieved goals of the film Wind River.
Many elements of the young artist come together in this brilliant film. For one, the film is about a lace in the world where the screenwriter/director Taylor Sheridan almost retreated to after twenty years in Hollywood as an actor and reader of screenplays. At one time, he was fed up with the film business and simply wanted to move to Wyoming and settle on some little, out-of-the-way place.
Then, he wrote three screenplays. One right after another. In the period of a year. The first was Sicario. The second was Hell or High Water. The third was Wind River. It was Wind River that he became the first director/writer of his original material. Unlike so much in Hollywood, it was not adopted from something else. Some rights in some book negotiated for a period of time. Another variation of some successful concept for a film?
As Sheridan relates in print media, he became weary of others who wanted to translate the vision he had of his story. He decided to do it himself. The part of his film he showed at the Sundance Festival was a hit. Yet he needed to raise more money to complete the film. His success at Sundance allowed him to do this.
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Strange seeing this film just a few days after seeing It. A modern horror story and then a brilliant thriller. At their core, tough, they are both “message” movies. It provides a message about the abuses of people at a certain age. Known as teenagers. Wind River provides a message about abuses to a certain race (called Indians). In the background of the film, the media environment one might say, is the deaths of two young Indian women on an the Indian Reservation in the mountains of western Wyoming called Wind River. A trapper for Fish & Wildlife (Jermey Renner) stumbles upon the body of a young girl in the snow.
A brilliantly written screenplay and brilliantly executed film. Many scenes in the film are via handheld camera. There is the feeling of a home movie at times in the footage. Almost like someone is shooting another reality movie. A feeling that someone is controlling the story other than all those guys from Hollywood.
In many ways, Wind River is a mix-up of Fargo (set to Wyoming) and other genre-busting films. With Wind River, we get the grand coming together of the writer, director and actor in a piece of work. For Taylor Sheridan, it was a long time coming. And, something that almost never came about in the first place as Taylor contemplated giving up the movie business all-together more than once.
So, what better Hero to rescue the American movie business from it’s self-reflective destruction as all the narcissists in culture gathered together under one “tent pole” brand.
Here, the modern John Wayne. A new Hero America has been waiting for.
A true cowboy from Texas who loves Wyoming.
Someone who wrote the three screenplays you can read below.
See the links below for more information.
Go see Wind River.
Read some of the links below I’ve put together.
Wind River is a modern classic by a new modern master. A combination of actor, screenwriter and director. Here, that rare thing in Hollywood: an original screenplay. All in one person today. Somewhat of a Larry McMurty inspired tough cowboy, a filmmaker to rescue Hollywood from tent-pole mediocracy.
A cowboy and an Indian at the end of Wind River.
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Taylor Sheridan in Rolling Stone. Why I needed to make this film.
From the brilliant Script Shadow.
From Indie Wire.
Wind River is on a Google Drive that will not allow posting. Suggest you search down this brilliant screenplay.