Matt Damon stars as a father trying to exonerate his estranged daughter of a murder she never committed in “Stillwater,” the new drama from “Spotlight” writer/director Tom McCarthy. Believe it or not, “Stillwater” is the first dramatic feature McCarthy has made since winning an Oscar for his acclaimed 2015 journalism drama. McCarthy won Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Director. “Spotlight” won the Oscar for Best Picture. McCarthy followed up the movie with the Disney family film “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.” The upcoming “Stillwater” is only McCarthy’s second directorial feature after “Spotlight.”
The official “Stillwater” synopsis from distributor Focus Features reads: “‘Stillwater’ follows an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma [named Bill Baker] who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter, in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter.”
Starring opposite Damon as Bill Baker are Abigail Breslin and Camille Cottin. McCarthy co-wrote the “Stillwater” screenplay with Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, and Noé Debré. The director is also a producer on the project along with Steve Golin, Jonathan King, and Liza Chasin. The movie was originally scheduled for release last fall, but the pandemic caused a delay that McCarthy wasn’t exactly mad about.
“It can be a very intimate movie and a very character-driven story, but there’s also a lot of scope to it,” McCarthy recently told Entertainment Weekly about the movie. “It’s a beautiful film shot in a beautiful place, and I think [Focus Features] felt strongly that people should see it in movie theaters, and I was in agreement with that. I’m in no rush — the movie will play as well this year as it would have last year.”
Focus Features will release “Stillwater” in theaters July 30. Watch the trailer for the drama in the video below.