Stillwater


Viewed – 02 April 2022 online-rental

I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that Matt Damon is one of the best actors currently working, so this drama inspired by true events was an easy prospect. Damon plays a father who travels to the French district of Marseille to visit his daughter who five years previous was convicted of murder after a girl was found dead in an apartment she was living in. With the case pretty much closed, Damon is determined to find evidence to finally exonerate her, and along the way befriends a French woman and the woman’s young daughter.

This movie, loosely based on the ‘Amanda Knox’ case from several years back was really absorbing, especially due to Damon’s authentic and very ‘human’ performance. The realationship he builds with the French woman and her daughter turns out to be the most effective aspect, with his own daughter more of a side character (played well by Zombieland’s Abigail Breslin). I had some knowledge of the real-life case going into this and it was what first attracted me to the story, but this turns out to be more of a character study of a father trying to adapt to a hopeless situation, turning his own life around in the process. It was quite moving at times, heart warming and sad, with an ending I felt was really impactful.

As an interpretation of a true story, it does change a lot but also adds it’s own ideas that proved compelling, and having everything from the perspective of a father rather than the woman who had been convicted was a unique take. I’d have liked a bit more back story, and the movie had a habit of skipping over some moments I felt could have been quite dramatic. Overall, another solid outing for Damon, and a story that really affected me.

Verdict: Recommended

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