Matt Damon plays one of the best roles of his career in the new movie Stillwater

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Matt Damon plays one of the best roles of his career in the new movie Stillwater

The director’s story of “Spotlight” is inspired by the mysterious true case of Amanda Knox. The actor brings the young woman’s father to life.

Matt Damon is the protagonist.

In 2007 a criminal case rocked the United States. A young American woman studying in Italy was arrested for the murder of her roommate. Her name was Amanda Knox and the story quickly became internationally known. Netflix later made a documentary about the case, which premiered in 2016.

Amanda Knox spent four years in prison in Italy. In 2015 she was acquitted by an Italian high court. Her life changed completely between her arrest and her release. The parents temporarily moved to Italy and the whole family had to borrow and mortgage the property to pay the enormous legal fees. Amanda Knox’s guilt remained an issue for many who followed the case.

One of the people who saw the process and was intrigued by the story was filmmaker Tom McCarthy, the same who directed The Spotlight Case, which won the 2016 Academy Award for Best Picture.

“There were so many characters around the case that I followed everything very closely,” he says in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine. “The first thing I took away from it was: Going to Europe as an American student, being for one of the most exciting moments in a young adult’s life, and getting caught up in this tragedy, what would it be like? The case had so many layers that everyone who followed it was very attentive. Who are the people you visit and what connections are there? What is the story around the narrative? ”Explained the 55-year-old director.

What intrigued Tom McCarthy most was Amanda Knox’s relationship with her father. He has teamed up with French screenwriters Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré (as well as Marcus Hinchey) to come up with a script that focuses on that real-world premise but fictionalizes everything else.

The result is Stillwater, a film that premiered in Portugal this Thursday, January 13th. It didn’t hit theaters but is available from NOS ‘digital video club. Matt Damon plays the father of a young woman who finds herself in a similar situation to Amanda Knox.

“We made a decision: let’s leave the story of Amanda Knox behind. But let me take that part of the story – an American studying abroad, involved in some kind of sensational crime that ends in jail – and fictionalize it all the way, ”adds McCarthy.

“The most interesting for [o Tom McCarthy] It was what happens after all the cameras are gone and what happens to the family, ”Matt Damon explained in another interview with the same publication. “Then they made up this story of a rude Oklahoma man who has a strained relationship with his daughter and has all this heartache, shame, and pain in him. He had caused problems in the relationship and was trying to make amends on his daughter’s sentence. You feel a bit responsible for what happened to her and for the direction her life has taken. I found it very interesting to explore that in a film. “

In Stillwater, the young adult detained for a violent crime is called Allison (played by Abigail Breslin). He did not study in Perugia, in Italy, but in Marseille, in France. She has been in prison for five years and does not enjoy the same legal protection as Amanda Knox. He only has his father, Bill Baker (Matt Damon), with whom he doesn’t have the best relationships.

Bill is a Conservative American from a rural area of ​​the country unrelated to France or the French language, and the scriptwriters chose to explore the racial and political tensions between the protagonist and the city of Marseille. Eventually he finds solace in a French actress he knows (who also has a daughter).

The plot has multiple twists and turns, and many of them, Tom McCarthy suspects, were inspired by true crime podcasts – which tell real and intriguing stories about heinous crimes or under mysterious circumstances. “These podcasts are brilliant because there is usually a central figure who takes you everywhere. It never goes where you expect it to. “

Matt Damon has received high acclaim for his role in this project – several specialist publications even say it is one of the best roles in his career. The cast of “Stillwater” also includes Camille Cottin, Lilou Siauvaud and Deanna Dunagan.

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