Stillwater is a 2021 crime drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor, The Cobbler, Win Win, and Spotlight). It was co-written by Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things and Come Sunday) and Thomas Bidegain (The Sisters Brothers, A Prophet, Saint Laurent, and Vincent). It was produced by Steve Golin (Mr. Robot, True Detective, The Revenant, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 50 First Dates, Lord of Illusions, and Wild at Heart). The film had it’s world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2021. The budget was $20 million and it grossed $19.4 million worldwide at the box office.
Stillwater, Oklahoma oil worker Bill Baker (played by: Matt Damon from the Bourne franchise, Ocean’s trilogy, The Departed, Dogma, Saving Private Ryan, and The Talented Mr. Ripley) travels to Marseille, Southern France to visit his daughter Allison (played by: Abigail Breslin from Zombieland 1/2, Little Miss Sunshine, Scream Queens, and Dirty Dancing), who is five years into serving a nine-year prison sentence. Allison was convicted of killing her roommate and unfaithful lover Lina. During Bill’s first meeting with Allison, she asks him to pass a note to her defense lawyer, Mrs. Leparq (played by: Anne Le Ny from Glacé, Mixte, and Playing Dead). Bill finds Leparq, who tells him that the letter says that Allison heard from her former professor about a man who claimed to be Lina’s killer. Leparq refuses to attempt to reopen the case.
Bill lies to Allison, telling her that Leparq will petition the judge to reopen the case and he decides to do his own investigation. Bill meets a woman named Virginie (played by: Camille Cottin from Call My Agent!, Killing Eve, Allied, and Savage) and her daughter Maya (played by: Lilou Siauvaud from Everything can happen!) at his hotel. He asks Virginie to translate for him and they start to bond as they spend more time together. Bill finds out the real killer might be a man named Akim (played by: Idir Azougli from The Stronghold). As Bill digs deeper, the situation gets much darker. He manages to track down the supposed killer through pictures on social media. When Bill is close to the truth while going past his breaking point, he doesn’t expect the answers that he gets. Can he solve this murder and save his daughter????
Stillwater is a slow burn feature. It’s more of a drama than a crime or thriller. The few main characters are fully written and on display here. I’ve never seen Matt Damon like this before and this is definitely one of his best performances in his entire career. He forces himself to be a detective in a foreign land to save his daughter. Abigail Breslin hasn’t done much since blowing up with Little Miss Sunshine and the Zombieland movies but she shines in Stillwater as the convicted killer fighting for her life in prison. These two had a bad relationship and past but they are trying to change that here. It has a solid supporting cast that includes Anne Le Ny, Camille Cottin, Lilou Siauvaud, and Deanna Dunagan (The Exorcist). Stillwater is more about the people rather than action and thrills, it’s a great character study. Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s moments plus some twists in there. It’s a basically a foreign film but it’s made by Americans which is very unique, a father and daughter picture with some crime and thrills thrown in the mix. The locations and cinematography are beautiful in this. I think it was a little too long to be honest but besides that, it was much better than expected. RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Universal! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer looks stunning on Blu Ray, it takes you from Oklahoma to France. Stillwater has all kinds of locations and different production designs for the feature. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Spanish: DTS 5.1 and French: DTS 5.1 on the disc. This isn’t an action packed type of movie, it’s mainly dialogue driven but it does have it’s moments. All of the dialogue is crystal clear and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. It has interviews with director Tom McCarthy, actors Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, Camille Cottin, and others. “An Alchemy of Viewpoints” is a little over 5 minutes. They go over the origin of the project. They chat about the story, cast, and characters. They talk about their experience on the production. “An American in Marseilles: The Locations of Stillwater” is a little over 3 minutes. They focus on the amazing France locations for this movie. Plus they do cover the Oklahoma spots plus the real people that inspired these roles. “With Curiosity and Compassion: Director Tom McCarthy” is a little over 3 minutes. The cast and crew show their appreciation for the filmmaker. They chat about working with him on Stillwater and what he brings to all his features. It comes with a slipcover, a digital code, and a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!