Culture / Film

Matt Damon’s new movie ‘Stillwater’ sees him travel to Marseille, France to free his daughter

Stillwater Abigail Breslin

The latest film to grab our attention is a new project starring Matt Damon. But it's not just the impressive cast, which also includes Abigail Breslin, that has us fixated. Nor is it the writing creds which include the film's director Tom McCarthy and also Marcus Hinchey. The reason we're strangely entranced by this movie is because it's based on the experience of Amanda Knox, the American student accused and falsely convicted of murder in 2007.

Below is everything we know about the movie so far.


What is Stillwater about?

First, we're introduced to Bill Baker. He's an American man, a father who is headed to an airport on his way to Marseille in the South of France. It seems like an unlikely trip for the oil worker from Stillwater, Oklahoma. We soon learn that this isn't a dream holiday or work trip. Rather, Bill's daughter, Allison has been arrested and detained in a French prison. Allison has been accused of murdering her friend and partner Lina and has reached the end of her legal options. Bill connected with a local woman, Virginie and her eight year old daughter Maya who help Bill in his attempt to clear his daughter's name.

The film is very loosely based on the story of Amanda Knox, the American student who was studying abroad in Puglia, Italy. Knox was accused of murdering her British housemate Meredith Kercher. She spent four years in prison before being acquitted by an Italian court.

The trailer is out now, and you can watch it below.


Who stars in Stillwater?

Matt Damon naturally plays the lead, father Bill Baker, while Abigail Breslin plays Allison Baker. Camille Cottin stars at Virginie and rounding out the principle cast, Lilou Siauvaud stars as eight-year-old Maya. The characters of Sharon and Akim are played by Deanna Dunagan and Idir Azougli respectively.


When will Stillwater be released?

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021. Since, Stillwater has already had its cinema release in the USA and Canada, hitting theatres on July 30 with an opening weekend of July 31 and August 1.

As for an Australian release date, the film is set to hit cinemas on August 26. For those living outside of lockdown zones, you'll be able to see the movie following this date. But for any Australians living in lockdown, you may have to wait a few more weeks before you can head to the movies to see the film.


Controversy surrounding the film

Amanda Knox has publicly stated that she believes Stillwater is "fictionalising away my innocence". She published an essay on Medium saying "McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”

In the essay she writes: “How do you think that impacts my reputation? I continue to be accused of ‘knowing something I’m not revealing’, of ‘having been involved somehow, even if I didn’t plunge the knife’. So Tom McCarthy’s fictionalised version of me is just the tabloid conspiracy guiltier version of me.”

“By fictionalising away my innocence, my total lack of involvement, by erasing the role of the authorities in my wrongful conviction, McCarthy reinforces an image of me as a guilty and untrustworthy person.”

You can read more of Amanda Knox's statement on Medium.


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