DEADLINE – This is the third year in a row that Taylor Sheridan has a film in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival. But the Sicario and Hell Or High Water writer is making his Croisette debut as director with Wind River. An unfinished version of the timely thriller centered around the continued injustice toward Native Americans premiered at Sundance in January. Its final cut premiered in Un Certain Regard here to a lengthy standing ovation.
The story follows a game tracker (Jeremy Renner) and an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who go on a manhunt for the murderer of a Native American teenage girl on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation.
Deadline’s Pete Hammond has said the movie “features the best Jeremy Renner performance in years.” And, in the video above, Renner says this is a meaningful film for him. “I’m deeply connected to it… and you know, I don’t have to talk about just a bow and arrow,” he laughs, referencing his Hawkeye role in the Avengers movies. He adds, seriously, “I can talk about something that does mean something to me as a man, as a father, as an actor, a lot of things.”
Olsen, who’s also part of the Avengers franchise, notes that when Wind River was made, the U.S. government clashing with protesters and the community of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline was not yet an issue. “Now it seems more relevant than ever in an odd way.”
Sheridan adds that division in America “seems to grow greater… Acutely, issues like this take place on the Reservation… In fact, new challenges face them — and challenges is a euphemism for our government finding another way to exploit. Whether it’s a pipeline, whether it’s mining rights, whatever the case may be, all of those contribute to what Wind River’s about. It enhances the depression, it enhances the sense of hopelessness. It’s a great shame of our nation.”
The Weinstein Company releases Wind River domestically August 4.