Currents Winter 2018; Vol. 34, No. 1 - Page 29

In Hamburg Currents, Winter 2018 Taylor Sheridan’s screenplay for Hell or High Water, 2016, gar- nered an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, just as Sicario, 2015, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay Award by the Writers Guild of Ameri- ca. In this, his directorial debut, Sheridan won Un Certain Regard for Best Director at Cannes Film Festival 2017. His screenplays integrate strong characters and narrative structure that correlate with nature and the theme’s en- vironments, e.g. symbolized by banking, drug cartels, and drill- ing, respectively. His impartial narrative style juxtaposes rapa- cious entities versus ordinary folk’s milieus. Regardless of their motives, Sher- idan’s characters are likeable: women are robust, men’s mo- tives make sense, and gunplay violence in key scenes negate moralizing. Renner, Olsen, and Greene’s portrayals convey real- istically balanced undertones; the supporting cast is terrific. Cin- ematographer Ben Richardson location filming encapsulates the challenges and magnificence of Wyoming and Utah. Gary Roach edits wisely, and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ music is sometimes moody, oftentimes comforting. Wind River’s riveting story probes the interrelationship among fam- ilies, communities and surround- ings, and personal (moral) cour- age. An informational black card at the film’s end speaks volumes for the victims at the heart of Wind River. 107 minutes (Mari- nell Haegelin) (another opinion) Wind River **** Cory (Renner) is a wildlife officer in Wyoming with a personal at- tachment to the nearby Wind Riv- er Reservation since he was mar- ried to a Native American. While tracking a predator animal across the vast winter landscape of Wy- oming, he comes across the body of a barefoot teenage girl who has obviously been raped. The reser- vation’s quiet police chief is sur- prised to actually get help from the FBI, although Agent Jane Banner (Olsen) is young, inexpe- rienced and out of her depth. The medical examiner cannot write homicide on his report, which would insure the arrival of more agents, because the exact cause of death was her lungs bursting due to the freezing temperature. Cory agrees to help Jane, primarily in order to come to terms with his own hurt and grief. He proceeds to go on his own non-authorized hunt for very different animals than he usually chases. This western thriller is clever and chilly and shows terrific empathy for the plight of Native Ameri- cans on reservations in the USA. Comanche Gil Birmingham who plays the dead girl’s father adds to the audience’s understanding of this plight. (Thelma Freedman) Shape of Water (Shape of Water— Das Flüstern des Wassers***** USA 2017 Opening February 15, 2018 Directed by: Guillermo del Toro Writing credits: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor Principal actors: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jen- kins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg What is the shape of water? Why, love, loss, and a monster. And pli- ability, of course. Guillermo del Toro, director- co-writer (with Vanessa Taylor) confidently weaves a magical, mystical net so visually sumptuous it will make your eyelashes curl. As with any allegory, there is a villain, a mor- al, and a symbol, plus our desire for good to triumph over evil. A quiet, good-hearted woman’s daily routine revolves around helping others, begetting their wanting to help her. Zelda (Spen- cer) talks constantly to Elisa (Hawkins)—a very good listen- er—weekdays during their dull work at the lab. Until, an extraor- dinary experiment arrives at the high-security American govern- ment facility with the callous, pitiless Strickland (Shannon) in command. Robert Hoffstetler (Stuhlbarg) advises other sci- entists to be vigilant; the raging Cold War and high-priority ne- cessitates speediness. Sent to the off-limits space, Zelda and Elisa stumble on the research’s unique- ness (Doug Jones). Subsequent )̈́ѡɕɔٕ)ѥ!х)ѥɕɕ́ɍ͇e)ɽѥѕ)̀)̤ȁѥѥ)Uɕ͕ɍյх́)ٕȁѼɕͥѡ)ѵи)QɿéϊQQ٥é )İAé1ɥѠذ)!Ё!䁱)AIϊQٔչх)ѥѥ̸ٕȁᤴ)ܹݍɜɜ(