Wind River

Wind River ★★½

A big improvement over the phony Robin Hoodism of “Hell or High Water.” Sheridan is as able a director as he is a writer. Nevertheless, this is a movie about Native Americans where Native Americans serve few purposes other than to grieve, to mourn, and to be killed. 

There’s a scene in which a Native American father copes with his daughter’s death, and Jeremy Renner’s character is there to console him. Both figures are shot in profile, speaking as they look off in the distance, not making eye contact with one another. 

Actually it’s an inaccuracy to say that they’re exchanging dialogue here, because even though it is the father’s moment, the camera is trained squarely on Jeremy Renner as he speechifies about the nature of mourning a loved one’s death. The Native American father isn’t even shown in focus; his profile is blurry and off to the side, so that we can train our attention on Renner’s not particularly enlightening meditation on death.  That’s how much his personal grief is important to the movie.

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