Coming to DVD and Bluray from writer/director Tom McCarthy and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of a father looking for redemption in STILLWATER.
Bill Baker (Matt Damon) is a construction and oil-rig worker from Oklahoma who spends his days working hard and visiting Sharon (Deanna Dunagan). Packing his bag, he arrives in Marseilles to visit daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin) who is in prison convicted of murder. Their relationship is strained as she has issues with her father, and he did not handle her upbringing well.
On this particular visit, Allison slips her father a note and asks that he deliver it to her attorney. Trying to do as his daughter wished, Bill discovers that the letter contained information that might help his daughter, but the lawyer has no interest. Determined to not let her down, Bill turns to private investigators to find someone Allison has mentioned who might know something.
Offering to help is Virginie (Camille Cottin), a theatre actress he met at the hotel and her little girl Maya (Lilou Siauvaud). Not speaking the language, Virginie helps translate and sees that Bill is dealing with a lot. Wanting to stay longer to help Allison, he becomes roomates with Virginie and forms a friendship with Maya.
He continues his visits with Allison and still looks for the potential killer. There time together reopens old wounds and yet when an unexpected event happens, Bill’s world is about to change. The pains of the choices he is making will follow him back to Stillwater.
Damon as Baker is a man who has a past that is not pretty and has caused emotional stress. Trying to make things right is made harder when his daughter Allison is 5,101 miles away in another country so when he has the chance to make things right with his daughter, he can not help himself but dive right in. The problem is he involves Virginie and Maya who come to care for him. Damon is a good ole’ country boy who says ‘yes ma’m’ and believes in helping just to help.
That’s what makes his character believable, Damon’s ability to draw us into this character who is like a fish out of water. That being said, it does not change who he is but instead quietly changes the way he sees the situation they are all in.
Cottin as Virginie is charming and although her first meeting with Bill is not a good one, she changes it around. She is also a good person at heart and sees what Bill is going through and wants to help where she can. Cottin gives her character so much understanding towards Bill’s situation.
Breslin as Allison is a daughter who is trying to get out of prison telling anyone who would listen that she is innocent. Bill believes her and tries everything and when old father-daughter issues come up, she remembers those problems and it causes problems. Breslin character is angry, frustrated and has a story to tell.
Siauvaud as Maya is adorable, charming, funny and the one character that seems to bring Bill any peace. Their relationship is based on nothing more than understanding one another until the bond they both loved so much becomes tested. Siauvaud gives the viewer a look at a child who gets caught up in adults messes.
Other cast includes Idir Azougli as Akim, Anne Le Ny as Leparq, Moussa Maaskri as Dirosa, William Nadylam as Patrick, Mahia Zrouki as Samira and Massiriat Mohamed as Souad.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
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The Bluray and DVD Bonus Features include An Alchemy of Viewpoints – The cast of STILLWATER discuss their characters and the research that went into portraying them authentically, An American in Marseilles: The Location of STILLWATER – Hear from the cast and filmmakers on what it was like filming in locations such as the streets of Marseilles and the Calanques along the coast.
Also With Curiosity and Compassion: Director Tom McCarthy – Cast and filmmakers discuss the thought and interest that goes into director Tom McCarthy’s stories, and how he uses his natural curiosity about real life interactions to guide his filmmaking style.
STILLWATER is a story of a father and his past mistakes, a daughter and her own mistakes and anger issues and two other people caught up in the middle of their story. Watching Damon make his way through Marseilles trying to be the father he always should have been, it is heartbreaking and heart pounding every step of the way.
The cast allows the story to be told in a pace that is believable and director McCarthy gives us not only a tour of France but of the lives filled with grief and attempted redemption. Beautifully done.
In the end – secrets run deep!