Stillwater is a 2021 American crime drama film directed by Tom McCarthy, based on a script he co-wrote with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, and Noé Debré.
Story: An American oil-rig roughneck travels to Marseille, France, to visit his estranged daughter, in prison for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences and a complicated legal system, he soon builds a new life for himself as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate her.
Analysis: The Movie opens with Bill Baker ( Matt Damon) working as a day job, once he was an oil worker in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He travels to Marseille, to visit his estranged daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin). But the focus isn’t on the imprisoned young woman here named Allison (Abigail Breslin), but on her single father Bill (Matt Damon). The other main characters are Virginie, a single French woman (Camille Cottin) and her young daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvaud) who befriend and assistant the American as he tries to find the real killer.
Bill’s dogged pursuit of freeing his daughter may seem to have the makings of an international thriller, but, McCarthy is much more interested in creating a slow burn drama. Bill is an uneducated ‘ugly American’ who has a history of personal failure. He roams around sporting a trucker hat even after temporarily moving to France to work on his daughter’s release. At one point, one of Virginie’s friends bluntly asks if he is Trump voter. Damon gives a strong performance as the determined Dad, even if he chisel’s down the rough edges a bit too much at times. Breslin is good as are the pair of French actresses.
Matt Damon gives an amazing performance in this film and one of the best performances I have seen him give in a film. If you are interested in this film you should definitely go and watch this.
Camille Cottin as Virginie a local resident helps Bill in every way she can. And also she begins a romantic angle with Bill.
Abigail Breslin as Allison. There is not much about her expect few scenes and last 5 minutes 9f the film. I don’t think she did a great but okay.
Lilou Siauvaud as Maya ( Virginia’s Daughter ) who became very close to Bill and she lie about the kidnapping with police. The bond between her and Bill was great.
I don’t think, this movie mostly covers Amanda Knox case because it lacks emotion between Bill and Allison, Nobody talks what happened or the lawyer dosen’t looks into Allison’s theory.
McCarthy will never be considered a stylist, but, here, as in THE STATION AGENT, THE VISITOR and SPOTLIGHT he frames the actors well. Masanobu Takayanagi camerawork is solid in capturing the local color without being picturesque and Mychael Danna’s score is effective without calling attention to itself. The movie could have used some tightening in the script and editing as the movie occasionally loses the focus of where it’s going. Set aside the tabloid details of the true crime case
10 or 15 minutes they could of taken out of the film, especially in the first act. The first act was very weak. The film does take it’s time to find it’s focus and rhythm.
Verdict: Stillwater was a beautifully shot movie that takes you on a very fascinating journey and gives you some very strong performances from all of our leads. The themes and messages are the strongest parts of this movie. It isn’t a perfect movie however the good outweigh the bad enough for me to recommend this movie to people.
Beautifully Filmed. Extraordinary Performance by Matt Damon and Supporting Cast
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