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In Stillwater, we follow Bill (Matt Damon) on his way to Marseille, France to visit his daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin). However, it is far from your normal visit as he has been serving a prison sentence for the past 4 years, accused of killing his roommate and his unfaithful partner. Bill and Allison are separated, but he agrees to visit her and try to help her with her condition.
Stillwater (2021) Movie
No matter how appealing this summary is, there is a disappointing lack of moral development between Bill and Allison, (Stillwater) especially because their relationship is designed to be fragmented and complex. With the exception of a few quick scenes where he visits her in prison, and so on later, we really don’t know much about their history and the characters feel like they both look good. Because there is really no depth in these characters, it makes you wonder why in the world Bill decided to invest so much time, money, and resources to help his daughter get out. Why would a man fly around the world if he was … indifferent?
Instead, Stillwater’s movie focuses on Bill’s relationship with local woman Virginie (Camille Cottin), who first convinced him to help her translate the book Allison had given him. As the movie progresses, weeds grow close to both Virginie and her young daughter, who eventually enter them.
This big issue for Studwater, instead of focusing on the stressful issue of Allison’s prison sentence, seems to be increasingly affecting Bill’s inevitable romance with Virginie, and the father’s relationship with his daughter. We see more of these characters than Allison, who should have been in the middle of the story.
This segue would not have been so bad if it had sounded like a believer but again, it is unpopular and there is no chemistry between Virginie and Bill. That being said, the way he tied up his daughter sounded logical, and there were some interesting scenes that raised the movie to some degree and raised questions as to whether Bill was “trying to be a father again” or not, he had a difficult relationship with Allison.
Matt Damon has an impressive number of films (Stillwater) under his belt, but this is by no means his strongest role, and this may be due to the absence of his character’s history. Bill is a real nuisance and there is nothing wrong with him, which is wrong if you are meant to follow the main character during the turmoil in his life. He cuts the movie, never really developed, and never expresses real feelings. It’s a rare job, and you won’t be remembered as one of Damon’s best performers.
During the 2-hour and 19-minute operation, you would expect most scenes to focus on Allison and the nearby case, as we spend a lot of time trying to fill in the blanks and find out what’s going on here. (Stillwater) Because Allison’s personality is not really developed, it’s hard to feel sympathy for her, making it even more confusing. When on-screen, his presence is nowhere near as strong or painful as it could have been given the fact that his father was willing to risk everything to prove his innocence.
The flow of the movie is slow but unfortunately close to the tedium as there are many scenes that did not need to be present, and could not be replaced by those that provided viewers with certain details. It is even more disappointing that Amanda Knox was not shown in the movie, as the fact is that it was based solely on her experience and her famous case which was changed many times before. (Stillwater) Those who want a thought-provoking crime drama will not find it here, as there is nothing that can challenge the audience at all.
While the movie is well-shot, and the talent is there, it actually doesn’t hit the right notes, and once the credits are over it’s easy to feel nothing, which is not what you want in the movie whose trailer was meant to make it stressful and hard-hearted.
This is discounted when you consider what project director Tom McCarthy has done in films like Spotlight, The Visitor, and even Power’s Up, heart-filled stories and complex titles. Stillwater was very powerful but did not do it accordingly, lacking the emotional fist that many have experienced in McCarthy’s (Stillwater) career over the years.
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