Stillwater – Blu-ray Review

Stillwater – Blu-ray Review

Bill Baker, an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma, travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter, Allison, who is 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.

Stillwater is a long and slow drama that is also captivating directed by Academy Award winner Tom McCarthy. That is thanks to a strong performance from Matt Damon and Camille Cottin.

The main character, Bill (Matt Damon), is travelling from the US to Marseille, France to visit his incarcerated daughter (Abigail Breslin), who has been convicted of a crime she did not commit. Damon plays a roughneck, hardworking, father who stays in France to prove his daughter’s innocence despite not knowing the language, the legal system, or the cultural differences. Breslin’s performance takes place mostly in jail. She portrays the emotional journey of her character quite well.

Along the way Bill befriends Camille Cottin’s Virgine and develops a relationship with her and her nine-year-old daughter, brilliantly played by Lilou Siauvaud, as he stays as close as possible to his daughter.

At the core of Stillwater is a broken relationship between a father and daughter. What I really enjoy about this movie is that you don’t really know where it’s going and it doesn’t wrap up everything in a neat little bow like a lot of films. It reflects the messiness of reality, real relationships, and that actions have consequences.


Considering this is a Blu-ray copy of the movie and not a 4K version it’s very clean and crisp. I didn’t notice any artifacts or crushed blacks.  Skin tones are accurate, and you can even make out some fine details. Film grain is visible, but not overpowering.


This movie isn’t an action movie that will bounce around all the channels in your room. Most of the movie is front end heavy as it’s dialog based. The wonderful score does fill the speakers and a few moments throughout the film do take advantage of the sound stage – like the football (soccer) game.


There are three short featurettes looking at different aspects of the film with interviews from the main cast and crew intertwined.

They are titled:

  • An Alchemy of Viewpoints
  • An American in Marseilles: The Locations of Stillwater
  • With Curiosity & Compassion: Director Tom McCarthy

While it’s light, it’s enough.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

While this is the Blu-ray review, the technical aspects don’t matter as much as the story told in the movie. The technical aspects are, however, solid. The extras are light, yet feels like just the right amount.

Review copy provided by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.



Movie - 8
Video - 8
Audio - 7
Extras - 5
Since seeing Star Wars on TV as a child Shane has been hooked on movies. In 2001 he decided to start up his own webpage dedicated to his new love DVD. Now, over 20-years later he continues to FEED YOUR HUNGER with the latest Theatrical, Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

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