Stillwater Delivers A Gripping And Heartfelt Drama

Yes, Stillwater is loosely based on the Amanda Knox case. The film is set in Marseille, France instead of Perugia, Italy. The similarities in the film, versus reality, is the roommate relationship and the setting being in Europe. This is movie is about Bill’s (Matt Damon) journey, as he is determined to bring justice for his daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) by finding the actual killer,

Bill Baker, born and raised in Stillwater Oklahoma. Went straight to work right out of high school directly to work as a roughneck. He seems ordinary, average, a midwestern, hardworking man. We watch him as he finishes a day of clearing the damage from the latest tornado. Sit in to observe as he goes for a job interview. He hasn’t been on an oil field since the jobs and rigs dried up.

He arrives in France as a visitor as he has done so often since the trial. Bill is a stranger in a strange land. He does not understand or speak French. He barely knows Marseille other than being able to get from his hotel to the prison for visitation. Not knowing how to navigate the French judicial system beyond finding his daughter’s lawyer’s offices. Driven by the guilt of being an absent father who failed to be there for her. He sets out to prove Allison’s innocence. Helped by his new French friend, Virginie (Camille Cottin), and her daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvaud) he is committed to clearing the charges.

The film did not miss a beat as we move through the story with Bill. Matt Damon completely embodies the character, his feelings transparent to the audience. His frustration, fear, concern, and determination help the viewer understand the turmoil in his head. Camille Cottin portrays Virginie as the kind friend that transitions to more. The lightness in the film is Bill’s relationship with Maya. Lilou Siauvaud is darling as she helps him learn to comprehend and speak French. It helps Bill by giving him redemption by being a father figure to Maya.

Stillwater had my attention from the start. Each scene is thorough, not dropping a beat. It is a heartfelt story of love, redemption, and family. I absolutely enjoyed watching the film.

Four out of Five stars