Coram Deo ~

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My Review of WIND RIVER

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Wind River, rated R
** ½

Wind River is a well written, directed and acted murder mystery, but due to the subject matter and content issues, it is not necessarily one you will want to see.
This film, based on actual events involving the Wind River Indian Reservation, was written and directed by Oscar nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water). The movie was filmed on location in Park City, Utah over 40 days in blizzard conditions. The Wind River Indian Reservation, located in Wyoming, is the seventh-largest Indian reservation in the United States, and larger geographically than the state of Rhode Island.
Cory Lambert, played by two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Town, Hurt Locker), is an agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is known for his expertise as a hunter and tracker. On one of his hunting expeditions, Lambert comes across the frozen corpse of a young woman. Lambert knows who the girl is, Natalie (Kelsey Asbille). Natalie was the best friend of Cory’s own daughter, Emily, who was murdered three years earlier. That tragedy ended his marriage to Wilma (Julia Jones), with whom he shares a son, Casey (Teo Briones). Some reports show that up to 80 percent of marriages end in divorce when there is the death of a child.
Cory contacts Ben, the Tribal Police Chief, played by Oscar nominee Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves). Since a murder is involved, the FBI is called in. New FBI Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olson, Captain America: Civil War,
Avengers: Age of Ultron
), is called in from Las Vegas. She is not equipped for the blizzard conditions, which are well depicted by cinematographer Ben Richardson, and asks Cory to partner with her on the case.
Gil Birmingham (Hell or High Water) portrays Martin, Natalie’s grief-stricken father. The film includes some powerful scenes between Cory and Martin, two fathers who have tragically lost teenage daughters who were themselves best friends. Cory wants justice for Martin and his wife, and in a way, for himself as well. He and Jane relentlessly pursue leads in an attempt to solve the murder.
The film contains a significant amount of adult language, include the abuse of God’s and Jesus’ names. In addition, the film includes a lot of violence, including a brutal rape scene. Read this article about why Christians should avoid watching rape scenes.  The film is difficult to watch as it depicts the overwhelming hopelessness at Wind River – poverty, crime, alcohol and drug abuse and a significant amount of violence.
Again, based on a true story, Wind River is a well-made film with a strong cast. However, the subject matter and content issues may make this film one you will want to stay away from.    We went to go see it because it was getting outstanding reviews from both critics and viewers alike – not sure why it received such glowing reviews.  The movie was paced to move very slowly and the characters didn’t draw you in.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

One thought on “My Review of WIND RIVER

  1. Sorry you were distracted from the nuanced presentation of the brutal conditions and horrors that often occur when different cultures collide. The movie was violent, with a lot of blood, cursing and mayhem — just like real life. The heroic characters were well developed, far more so than the villains. But I sincerely cared about the decent, hard living people, and sincerely hated the perpetrators. They didn’t need development to understand why they were evil. Isolation, boredom, lives of minimal impact, and booze took care of that, and justified their deaths. The rape scene was handled with discretion. Don’t you think we should know what an ugly, horrendous violation it is? I give Wind River a solid “A”.

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