Can the Actuarial’s of Hollywood be deceived and let an honest and serious film get by them and be released outside of the time period designated for Art Films to be considered at Oscar time? I think so, at least I do after watching the film Wind River.
Wind River is written and directed by Taylor Sherdian (Hell and High Water, Sicario) and stars Jeremy Renner (Avengers, The Town, Mission Impossible, American Hustle, Bourne Legacy) and Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers, Captain America, Ingird Goes West). The easy thing would be to take a pass on a viewing of this film if you judge it by the typical typecasting of these three. Sheridan; the male T.V. Series hunk for the ladies. Renner; the angry loose cannon (i.e., The Town, The Hurt Locker) and Olsen; the sister of the long ago T.V. Star Twins. Yes, those credits are correct.
However these three have demonstrated for some time they are top-level artists who have figured out how to navigate commercial Hollywood so as allow them the flexibility to be associated and involved with more intriguing fair.
Wind River is not a downer of a film. However, it is somber and thought provoking. What you think happened or is going to happen – likely is not the case. Will you feel cheated when you learn the details? No, because the signals were present all the time. Be patient and watch to the very end.
Notes from a Location Geek:
There is nothing more demanding than a location shoot that is to depict the outdoors at elevation in the winter-time. It is tough to present -6 degrees in the mountains as it really looks and feels. Wind River is not bad on this front, but not perfect.
Ask back-to-back-to-back Academy Award Winner for Cinematography Emanuel Luzbeski (2014 Gravity, 2015 Birdman, The Revenent 2016). He did not even win the AA for his best work: Children of Men (2012) or A Little Princess (1996).