Friday, July 30, 2021

Stillwater Movie Review: A Bittersweet Family Drama About Character And Choices

Matt Damon	...	Bill Camille Cottin	Camille Cottin	...	Virginie Abigail Breslin	Abigail Breslin	...	Allison Lilou Siauvaud	Lilou Siauvaud	...	Maya Deanna Dunagan	Deanna Dunagan	...	Sharon Idir Azougli	Idir Azougli	...	Akim Anne Le Ny	Anne Le Ny	...	Leparq Moussa Maaskri	Moussa Maaskri	...	Dirosa Isabelle Tanakil	Isabelle Tanakil	...	Isabelle Naidra Ayadi	Naidra Ayadi	...	Nedjma Gilbert Traïna	Gilbert Traïna	...	Bald Man (as Gilbert Traina) Pierre Piacentino	Pierre Piacentino	...	Max Hamza Baggour	Hamza Baggour	...	Bearded Kid Jean-Marc Michelangeli	Jean-Marc Michelangeli	...	Captain William Nadylam	William Nadylam	...	Patrick Nassiriat Mohamed	Nassiriat Mohamed	...	Souad Mahia Zrouki	Mahia Zrouki	...	Samira Mama Bouras	Mama Bouras	...	Intern

Release date: July 30, 2021
Running time: 140 minutes
Director: Tom McCarthy
Writers: Tom McCarthy, Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, Noe Debre
Cast: Matt Damon, Abigail Breslin, Camille Cottin, Lilou Siauvaud

A dramatic thriller directed by Academy Award® winner Tom McCarthy and starring Matt Damon, Stillwater follows an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter, in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit.

Adel Ferrat	...	Hat Guy Bastien d'Asnières	Bastien d'Asnières	...	Renaud (as Bastien D'asnieres) Céline Defay	Céline Defay	...	Law Office Receptionist (as Celine Defay) Alban Casterman	Alban Casterman	...	Manager Jacques Kounta	Jacques Kounta	...	Massive Man Pierre-Jean Taieb	Pierre-Jean Taieb	...	Cop in Restaurant 1 (as Jean-Pierre Taieb-Renassia) Chris Tomneer	Chris Tomneer	...	Cop in Restaurant 2 Paul Limonche	Paul Limonche	...	Cop in Restaurant 3 Ludovic Marchand	Ludovic Marchand	...	Cop in Restaurant 4 Shazad Latif	Shazad Latif	...	Cop in Restaurant 5 / Cop in Restaurant 6 Khalid Sabirh	Khalid Sabirh	...	Detective 1 Jean-Pierre Gourdain	Jean-Pierre Gourdain	...	Old Bar Owner Grégory Di Meglio	Grégory Di Meglio	...	Stephane (as Gregory Di Meglio) Nicolas Dubus	Nicolas Dubus	...	Older Cop Jérome Care-Aulanier	Jérome Care-Aulanier	...	Detective 2 (as Jerome Care Aulanier) Michel Bompoil	Michel Bompoil	...	Rafe Laurent Louise Desmullier	Louise Desmullier	...	Receptionist Kelly Bellacci	Kelly Bellacci	...	Female Lawyer
Stillwater is a masterclass in storytelling and in leaving things unsaid.  And this is epitomized by Matt Damon's performance as Bill, a no filter, quiet, but set in his ways American who is in Marseille to be near his daughter.  Damon is simply amazing as Bill; he takes on the mannerisms, the demeaner, and the attitude of a rough, Oklahoma oil man.  But what is so great about this film is that it doesn't tell you much about what is happening, letting you (and forcing you) to just experience the story.  It doesn't tell you why Damon is traveling from Oklahoma to France at the start, nor does it explain much about the overall situation after you find out why he is there.  The film prefers to feed little tidbits of information throughout the story and let the viewer slowly gain a clear picture.  

But that is not to say that there are not hints of what is happening or what will occur, and that is thanks to the stellar performances by Damon, Breslin, Cottin, and Siauvaud.  They all bring a different character to the film and they all interact in wonderful and interesting ways.  I especially liked seeing the interactions between Damon and Cottin because of how different they were, and between Damon and Siauvaud because of how sweet that whole experience was.  The film is just a wonderful exercise in character development and noticing subtle shifts in personalities and demeaners.  Plenty is said without needing to be said, and the film has many character changes throughout.

But what makes this movie so special is just how beautiful and tragic it can be.  Allison (Breslin) is in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit, but seeing what she is up against to try and get her conviction overturned is daunting.  And the film has so many moments of beauty and tragedy that you just have to watch to see.  Going into it too much would just spoil these wonderful parts so it will just have to be something you see for yourself, but needless to say, Stillwater shows where cultures can meld and then rip apart.  It shows the beauty of love and the tragedy of what that love can do.  And it is an amazing, complex film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Stillwater is a masterclass in storytelling, with stellar performances, a story filled with beauty and tragedy, and an amazingly complex journey that asks the viewer to experience it.

Watch it.

Liza Chasin	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Steve Golin	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Robert Kessel	...	executive producer Jonathan King	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) David Linde	...	executive producer Tom McCarthy	...	producer (produced by) (p.g.a.) Jeff Skoll	...	executive producer Corinne Golden Weber	...	associate producer Mari-Jo Winkler	...	executive producer
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Stillwater is in theaters on July 30, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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