Stillwater director Tom McCarthy’s upcoming crime drama starring Matt Damon, has received a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes. The overwhelmingly positive response to the movie even had Matt Damon looking teary eyed at the event as he glanced around the applauding and cheering audience.
The cast and crew of Stillwater had already been met with a very warm welcome from attendees when they arrived at the 74th edition of Cannes. When the movie ended and the credits began to roll, the audience could not help but let Matt Damon and the rest of those involved with the movie know how much they enjoyed the experience, rising from their seats and confirming that Stillwater is certainly one to watch.
While speeches are not traditionally given at the event, director Tom McCarthy could hardly contain himself, grabbing a mic and offering his thanks to the Cannes festival. “I’m overwhelmed to be here, I’ve been so greatly influenced by the cinema of this country and of Europe,” McCarthy said. “It’s so inspiring to present a film to this amazing audience in this iconic theater … that’s all I can come up with in this instant-tradition moment,” he added.
Coming from Focus Features, Stillwater follows Matt Damon as 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.
The dramatic thriller comes courtesy of Academy Award winner Tom McCarthy, whose 2015 crime drama effort Spotlight made a very lasting impression on audiences and the awards season. Stillwater is based on a script he co-wrote with Marcus Hinchey and Thomas Bidegain & Noé Debré, McCarthy, and stars the likes of Abigail Breslin as Allison Baker, Camille Cottin as Virginie, Lilou Siauvaud, and Deanna Dunagan as Sharon alongside Matt Damon.
“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 said of the project, before addressing the delay to production caused by the ongoing global situation. “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.”
Damon, who is best-recognized as the unstoppable amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne, finds himself on much less solid ground as the out-of-depth roughneck Bill Baker. “He’s a guy that’s had a difficult life, he’s struggled, but he sort of tried to make amends and do what’s right, I think, when we meet him,” co-writer and director Tom McCarthy said of the character.
Stillwater was originally due to be released last fall but was delayed due to the current circumstances and theater closures. Stillwater is now scheduled to be released on July 30, 2021, by Focus Features. This comes to us from Ramin Setoodeh.