“Closure is this convenient thing we came up with in the Nineties.” – Taylor Sheridan
Seeing that his previous written work was also showed in Cannes (Sicario followed by Hell or High Water), it was inevitable that after touching a nerve with Sundance audiences that it would not receive an invite from a fest that loves Americana and adjoined folklore — Thierry Fremeux placed the film in the Un Certain Regard section where it won Best Director.
In Park City, the eponymous Native American reservation titled Wind River starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen played well with the crowds but received a lukewarm response from certain critics. Part of a larger thematic trilogy, as told in the post screening Q&A, unlike other crime thrillers, Taylor Sheridan wanted to see more of the trace that is left by a missing person (notice the association made between memory with footprints and trails) in a part of the country where there is a sexual assault epidemic and instead of handing off the film to another filmmaker, there was a moment where he realized that he felt a responsibility to the material. He also briefly talks about the miserableness of filming in difficult conditions – something that makes the entire experience feel “earned”, and the quote above addresses the notion that sometime with suffering there are no satisfactory answers.
At one point The Weinstein Company were considering moving the title to another distributor but Sundance they appeared to have further embraced the film. It opened in limited release this weekend.