Tom McCarthy directs a stoic Matt Damon in a film about America’s role on the world stage, which ultimately says very little.
At Tom McCarthy’s Still water, Matt Damon wears a baseball cap. He notches his sunglasses, a pair of Oakley fakes, on the brim of his cap; the rest of her body is covered with an assortment of denim, flannel, plaid and Carhartt products. These costume choices are how the movie tells us that Damon’s character Bill Baker is an “ordinary guy.” Sadly, outside of his wardrobe, there is nothing that truly defines Bill, let alone that makes Still water worth watching.
Although it derives its title from a city in Oklahoma that changed its face mask tenure last May after the people of that city threatened with violence, much of that curvy and “glamorous” image takes place in Marseille, France. When we meet Damon’s Bill, he leaves his job on a construction site for a trip to Europe – to visit his daughter, who is currently serving half of a nine-year prison sentence. Five years before the events of the film, Allison (Abigail Breslin) was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, a French Arab woman named Lina. She swears she didn’t.
Loosely inspired by the events surrounding Amanda Knox’s wrongful conviction – though completely indifferent to the reality of his experience – director McCarthy (Projector) and its three additional writers go through their decadent and never-ending execution with frustrating ineffectiveness. The initial hook comes from Allison’s mistrust of her father and her determination to follow a new thread of evidence that could prove her innocence. A perpetual fish out of water, Bill stays in a Best Western and dines in the best metro in France – he’s a totally inept investigator of the Marseille underworld.
The movie seems to be trying to say something about American influence abroad – what is Bill if not a colonizer imposing his will on a place he has no interest in understanding? Eventually, the future conquistador meets a stage actress named Virginie (Camille Cottin) and her young daughter Maya (Lilou Siauyard) – Bill’s relationship with this family grows at a snail’s pace. by Stillwater Interest in its supporting characters looks good on paper, but these characters aren’t particularly unique or charismatic.
Bill looks a lot like a rock – the boring, external details of his psychology are all clear, but everything below the surface is hidden and out of reach. We know he prays before every meal, enjoys watching Oklahoma football, and has a tattoo of a knife stabbing a flaming skull on his shoulder, but Still water stop before digging deeper. We’re kept at bay, like everyone else in Bill’s life. Filmmakers never find a way to make their protagonist vulnerable, let alone push them towards true self-awareness. In other words, Damon cannot merge the random information from this script into one person. Cottin, meanwhile, delivers a much more nuanced performance – until the movie tires of exploring shades of Virginia.
All of this so that we can continue the plot and its seemingly relevant commentary. But what is Still water really trying to tell the truth about the United States or its place in the world? McCarthy had he really focused on Bill, Still waterThe lack of political sense of would not be so blatant. Instead, Damon is just an empty head to hold a baseball cap and sunglasses.
Stillwater is now playing in theaters.