In the wake of the U.S. government clashing with protesters and the community of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation over the Dakota Access Pipeline, along comes Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River, a timely thriller centered around the continued injustice toward Native Americans in our nation.

The opening shot: a young Native American teenage girl runs to her death, barefoot in the snow. Jeremy Renner plays the town’s game tracker who assists Elizabeth Olsen’s fish-out-of-water FBI agent to hunt down the murderer in Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation.

After penning two back-to-back Cannes Film Festival entries-turned awards contenders, 2015’s Sicario and last year’s Hell or High Water, Sheridan calls Wind River his “most personal,” a conclusion “to a lot of themes” he introduced in these first two titles; a reason why he sought out to direct this time around. Last month, Sheridan told us that the motif running through the trio was “fatherhood; the sojourns of a father. When you become a new father, there are things that terrify you. I look at that more acutely in Wind River.”

“It’s the landscape of fracking and endemic rape and drug abuse on the reservation. It’s about fatherhood and protection, it’s about the rule of law giving way to the laws of nature,” adds Sheridan whose Hell or High Water screenplay is up for a WGA, Indie Spirit and BAFTA nom and could see an Oscar nod on Tuesday morning.

Wind River marks the second time that Olsen has worked with an Avengers thespian in an extreme dramatic space; she starred opposite Tom Hiddleston in the Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light (though the duo never appeared technically in a Marvel title yet). On her federal agent in Wind River, Olsen says “She’s white, young and blonde and a woman and why people hate the Feds.”

Meanwhile film reviewers are praising Wind River as one of Renner’s best performances and here the actor talks about playing a man of few words. Take a look.

Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at