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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Love is blind

Stillwater on IMDb

Plot Overview

Vive la FranceThe French have a saying: The more things change, the more they remain the same (Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.) Oklahoma State coed Allison (Abigail Breslin) trans­ferred to a university in Marseille, France to be where things were different. She couldn't come out as who she was in the American heart­land or to her religious father. In France they discuss sex openly.

Through a lot of political brouhaha, we've been shown that queers can love each other, too, and form stable pair relations. They've even been granted marital benefits by some jurisdictions modifying the legal definition of marriage. Not all of them, how­ever, want to be tied to one partner. In the book The Coming Plague, surveys were shown of homo­sexuals in major metropolitan areas where, astonishingly, multiple partners meant over five hundred a year. Allison formed an attachment to her French–Arab, live-in lover Lina Hamdi, while Lina went out on the town sleeping with many other women. It left Allison heartbroken.

When Lina was found stabbed to death in their locked apartment, nothing having been stolen, suspicion naturally fell on the jilted lover. The press had a field day and the case was the talk of the town, France being rife with resentment at the influx of Arabs. A guilty verdict was assured. After serving five years of a nine year sentence, Allison hears from a friend who was at a party where this Arab Akim (Idir Azougli) confessed to having stabbed a girl to death and never been caught. Muslims and homos are mortal enemies. Allison hopes her case will be reopened, but her lawyer knows it won't, not based on hear­say evidence alone. Her father Bill Baker (Matt Damon,) however, tries his fumbling hand at clearing his daughter on his latest visit. He's a caution.


This movie presents a harsh ambiance from the get-go: an opening, lingering shot of Bill's demolition work in the states. In Marseille he shows his appreciation to his neighbor Virginie (Camille Cottin) for translating by gifting her nine-year-old daughter Maya (Lilou Siauvaud) with a plastic robot on her birth­day. The robot's arm falls off when she plays with it, and then its leg. Maya complains that the robot can't walk with­out its leg. Life is hard with­out needed parts. Allison complains about life inside and out, saying, “Life is brutal.” Then her extreme animosity for her dad flares up on account of his (past) drinking, his penchant for (diplomatic) lying, and for being generally messed up—though he's trying. She won't look at him or read his letters. Here is a keen illustration of, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.” My Jewish Study Bible calls this verse, “An isolated saying excoriating the person who treats his parents with contempt.”

Germane to the plot is a gifted necklace inscribed stillwater Allison wore, which changed hands. It is just the kind of shiny trinket ravens might like to scrounge. After Allison's attempted suicide, the doctor mimes with his hands on his neck what had happened.

American Bald EagleBill displays his eagle tattoo on his upper arm for Maya to see. Later in the movie we see Allison having her lower arm inked in prison with Lina the person she can't live without. Life is brutal.

Production Values

” (2021) was directed by Tom McCarthy. Its screenplay was written by Tom McCarthy, Marcus Hinchey, and Thomas Bidegain & Noé Debré. It stars Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin, and Lilou Siauvaud. The film had consummate acting all around. Damon was such an embodiment of an expatriate rough­neck that any of his previous roles were easily dismissed from mind. Siauvaud the child actress did well.

MPAA rated it R for language. It was filmed mostly in Marseille, France. Runtime is a leisurely 2 hours and 19 minutes. It's well pieced together. The score and music choices were most excellent.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

prayingWe see more praying here than is wont in Holly­wood movies, but the situation calls for it and then things strangely work out. Christianity is never portrayed negatively, at least not beyond flawed people trying their best. The ending won't exceed bitter­sweet, and the movie itself doles out both happiness and pain. There are a couple of twists thrown in for good measure. It excels as a drama and does okay as a thriller. The French flics were not ham-fisted like some movie cops I've seen.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Wake up and smell the 1990s technology. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, Print.

The Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh. New York: Oxford University Press. New Jewish Publication Society 2nd ed. of 1999. Print.