Linda Cook review: ‘Stillwater’ is one of Matt Damon’s best performances

“Stillwater” is not the setting for much of this film.

In this mysterious murder which is also a character study, two of the main characters are from this Oklahoma city. They carry the culture and manners of Stillwater with them in every scene they find themselves.

Bill Baker (Matt Damon) has worked on oil rigs most of his life. Today, after being made redundant, he works part-time in the construction industry as he faces a terrible burden: his American daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) is in prison in Marseille.

Over the past five years, Bill has visited his daughter as much as he could, as she claims she is innocent of her roommate’s murder,

When Bill finds a common thread that could lead to a clue to help Allison, he becomes determined to find the man she mentions, even though he doesn’t speak French and doesn’t understand society.

Bill Maya’s friendly neighbors (the luminous Lilou Siauvaud) and his mother Virginie (Camille Cottin) become his only real link with the country in which he finds himself. They become a lifeline for Bill, who looks as out of place as he feels.

The film is loosely – very loosely – based on the real-life story of Amanda Knox, an American who has since been acquitted after spending several years in an Italian prison when she was convicted of murdering her. roommate. (Knox expressed his distaste for the film on Twitter, and you can read his comments here.)

This is one of Damon’s best performances. It’s not just his baseball cap and plaid shirt that makes him an outcast. It’s the way he wears them, his insistence on speaking English and his barely contained impatience when he meets someone who could help Allison.

Although it is fiction, it contains a lot of truths about families and the extremes to which love can take us.

3 1/2 stars

Duration: two hours and 20 minutes.

Rated: R for violence, foul language and sexual situations.

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