Elizabeth Olsen has come out from the early shadows of her older twin sisters and is best known for her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch. She’s eclipsed the fame of Mary Kate and Ashley which would have seemed impossible years ago. Having a major role in a comic book movie franchise and a headlining show will do that. Sure, she’s known for her MCU work these days, but the actress has shown range as well. Another one of her movies is actually climbing the streaming charts as we speak. It’s definitely worth the watch and a little of a different film than what we’ve seen Olsen in before.
According to FlixPatrol, Wind River is number five on the United States Netflix charts and climbing. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, the movie has nearly everything one would want from a film. At its core, we are given a mystery to solve with the backdrop of the Wyoming frozen tundra and the interplay of a Native American tribe at a crossroads. But those are only some of the layers of what is happening in Wind River as it weaves its way through the dynamics of a place that causes people to lose themselves and some to not know where they are going to begin with.
Wind River opens with a haunting scene of a woman running through the frozen tundra, clearly terrified, fleeing from some unknown assailant (or something worse). Her body is discovered the next day by Jeremey Renner’s character, Cory Lambert, a local tracker who has endeared himself to those on the Wind River Indian Reservation. It is then that FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is called in to investigate with federal authority superseding the local police force on the reservation. It makes for early struggles around trust, especially from the local residents who’ve come to look at some aspects of the outside world with a great amount of suspicion.
Together, Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen begin to unravel the mystery of the young girl found dead and how she came to be lying barefoot in the middle of a near-artic winter. But in this investigation we are also given insight into the Wind River Reservation people, their relationship with Renner’s Lambert, and those who are, still, using the land with differing motives. It’s more a character and regional study than anything else, with a definitive sense of “place” hammered home through the icy and desolate conditions.
Wind River is a fantastic movie, another stunning film from director and writer Taylor Sheridan who has rather quietly become one of the more prolific and engaging voices and talents out there. This is his first time working with Elizabeth Olsen, but he’s had a knack for developing strong female characters in movies like Sicaro Emily Blunt and more recently with Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead. Of course, he also has films like Hell or High Water as well as the award-winning series Yellowstone with Kevin Costner. This dude puts out some of the best stories around.
Though Wind River did receive some criticism about the cast of Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as the leads in a story about a Native American reservation, in general critics still took to the story. It is currently sitting at 87% on Rotten Tomatoes through more than 250 reviews. The 73 rating on Metacritic backs it up.
Since becoming an Avenger in Age of Ultron, Elizabeth Olsen has mostly been picking and choosing her spots outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who could blame her? With so much on her plate over there and the stories only getting bigger, she can just take roles that are enticing. In addition to Wind River during this time she’s done the Hank Williams biopic, I Saw the Light and Kodachrome with Jason Sudeikis and Ed Harris. Plus she starred in Sorry For Your Loss on Facebook Watch.
Next up, of course, will be Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which is sure to be another blockbuster for Marvel. It is likely to marry the events of WandaVision and Spider-Man: No Way Home. In the meantime, check out Elizabeth Olsen in a movie that is definitely a change of pace from the ramped-up MCU. There is still action in this one, but it is of a different sort, more in line with the Taylor Sheridan nailbiting build-up centered around characters we can root for along the way.