9.5/10 Last summer, the 51st film I saw in theaters (which was also released in August and written by Taylor Sheridan) was “Hell or High Water.” I gave the film a 9/10 and put it as my 6th Best Film of 2016. This year, Sheridan returns as writer (but this time also making his directorial debut) with “Wind River” which so far, is easily the best film of 2017. With a score of 9.5/10, I see it also making this year’s Top 10 Best Films of 2017 List. Part of me loves just ripping on terrible movies and telling you to avoid them while not even wanting to comment on films as good as this for fear of overhyping them for everyone. I want to just grab everyone I can and tell them to go see this, whether you know all about it or not. Sheridan’s transition from writer to writer/director (he got his start in acting) is so graceful, it makes you wish he had been directing his entire career. A lot of the directorial choices he makes are very mature and you would think he has been directing for a very long time. When I first saw Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen were teaming up again, I feared I might have “Avengers” flashbacks but nope. Both actors give the best performances I have seen either give in their careers and couldn’t be more convincing. I even initially thought that Olsen was a little young to be cast for her role (she is 28) but the film does a solid job of handling it and she suits the role perfectly. I didn’t know this was based on a true story, which made it all the more harrowing and heartbreaking. I haven’t seen a film really cover Native American culture this well or in this mature of a fashion and after “Hell or High Water” and now this I can honestly say that Sheridan has mastered the modern western genre. Besides the bigger names in the cast, the smaller/lesser known actors also nail their parts (it is also awesome seeing one actor from “Hell or High Water” and another from the Sheridan penned “Sicario”, which was the best film of 2015 for me, due in large part to its script). The landscape and harsh environment is also a character in and of itself and adds a layer of drama to the unfolding danger. The cinematography and score also stand out, with the score being particularly the most unique one I have heard in recent memory. This film made me chuckle, cry, tense up and go through a roller coaster of emotions. At the risk of overhyping, I can’t stress enough that this is a must see film and out of the 57 films I have seen so far this year (more than anyone else I know personally), this is the BEST one yet.
#SnowJob / #TheMournLegacy / #StalkEye / #NativeAmericanHustle / #IndianRiver / #PlaneJane