I’m not a parent. I’ve never seen a piece of myself shining in the eyes of a child. I can’t imagine what that is like, and I cannot fathom what it must be like to have it and lose it. I have lost my entire world to grief. When you go through it, there’s a pernicious lie you’re told in counseling, by people who don’t get it, by most of pop culture: it gets better. The pain goes away. It doesn’t. It does change. It changes you. The knife-sharp pangs that wrack you in the beginning become a dull roar. You learn to live around it, but the person you were before never comes back. It’s something you suspect as soon as you lose the person: I’m never going to be the same. The most honest assessment of the grieving process that I’ve ever heard comes from one grieving father to another in the most underrated film of 2017: Wind River.
Taylor Sheridan’s modern western crime thriller (it manages to tick all the requirements for at least three genres) was another spectacular script from the Sicario screenwriter and a very impressive directorial debut. As good as Gary Oldman was as Winston Churchill, I thought Jeremy Renner’s performance in this film was the best acting I saw last year. Renner is always strong, but to the detriment of his appreciation, his performances are usually understated character work. With Wind River he was able to blend his gift for nuance with a clear, deep connection to the material. The porch scene is so intensely honest that it nearly blew me out of the theater. It’s a testament to how entertaining the film is in the midst of dealing with the bleakest terrain a human soul has to cross that I was able to walk out feeling like I’d finally spent time with someone who got it. I wish I’d have gotten a counselor as good as the one Renner’s character got at that seminar in Casper.
2018 is here, and it becomes time to look back over the last year and film and highlight the best of what was, overall, a pretty anemic year for movies in 2017. It was a great year for comic book fans in terms of quantity of quality, with nearly every film released connecting. There were some surprising gems that emerged (Get Out, Wind River), and blockbusters that actually did deliver (Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes), but more films that didn’t live up to the hype and disappointed versus their potential. Animation, particularly, had an anemic year with Coco being the only film that even drew me to a theater. Overall, I have seen 75 2017 releases, and with awards season still continuing to expand a number of the top contenders, there are a number of films that could significantly impact this list, but here are Killing Time’s Top 10 Films of 2017 with links to my review of each film.
(Films Still to See Include: Lady Bird, The Florida Project, The Post, The Shape of Water, All the Money in the World, I Tonya, and Mudbound)
Continue reading Killing Time’s Top 10 Films of 2017
Jeremy Renner has become one of Hollywood’s most consistent leading men over the last decade. Since hitting A-list status with back-to-back Oscar nominated performances in The Hurt Locker and The Town, Renner has continued to pump out both quality dramas like Wind River, American Hustle, Arrival, and Kill the Messenger. He’s also part of both the Mission Impossible and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises, contributing to some of the biggest blockbusters of the last few years. He’s a solid leading man and action star with a talent for portraying everyman characters in the tradition of Harrison Ford.
Continue reading Jeremy Renner’s 10 Best Movies
Wind River was released at the tail end of a dismal August right before a dismal September set in, and thankfully delivers the kind of quality you expect from films during awards season. The directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Wind River cements Sheridans status as one of the best writers working for the screen today and shows him as a promising talent behind the camera. Wind River is a tense, beautifully-filmed modern crime western (a genre Sheridan has invented that we didn’t know we badly needed). Continue reading Movie Review: Wind River (2017) *A Modern Crime Western Triumph*