Hollywood Insider - News Entertainment & Culture

Substance & Meaningful Entertainment

Against Gossip & Scandal

Independent Media Network

Global Stories From Local Perspective

Factual Culture News

Hollywood Insider Stillwater Review, Matt Damon

Photo: ‘Stillwater’/Focus Features

How far will families go to save their loved ones? ‘Taken’ has answered that question with Liam Neeson’s special set of skills, but what about Matt Damon’s character Bill Baker? An Oklahoma roughneck travels to France to help his daughter get exonerated for a murder she claims she is innocent of. With only his skills being in construction, Baker struggles his way through cultural differences and the complicated legal system to get the evidence that is needed for his daughter’s freedom. His daughter, Alyssa (Abigail Breslin), can only hold onto the hope and lies that her naive father provides her. A tale about family, trust, and mistakes that can last a lifetime, ‘Stillwater’ gives viewers hope for the impossible. 

Related article: ‘In the Heights’ – Behind the Scenes and Full Commentary/Reactions from Cast & Crew

Related article: A Tribute to Cannes Film Festival: A Celebration of Cinema, Glamour, and Humanity | Statement From The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase

‘Stillwater’ – Simple Metaphors 

Symbolism in a film is not always apparent to the audience, but ‘Stillwater’ manages to have some key elements that represent the whole story. The biggest one being the oil rigs. Damon’s character, Baker, is a roughneck; a labor-intensive oil rigger. The film opens with shots of oil rigs and every so often we see them again. Landing in France we see them and then at the end, we see them again. Having Baker be a roughneck perfectly describes his situation with his daughter. A small man with no power working for the rich. His battle against the legal system is almost hopeless; a battle that many people today lose. The film is filled with metaphors that make deep connections throughout the storyline.

Cultural Reset 

Racism is more than a problem in the world today, but is an issue that people think is beneath or already dealt with. The Black Lives Matter movement that has always been strong against the police brutality towards the Black community blew up last year with the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor cases. It finally woke America up with the issue that has been swept under the carpet for far too long. Some still have trouble seeing the white privilege that is so clear to see once put in front of you, but Bill Baker is one of those people. A southern man that may not be labeled a racist man, but not “woke” enough to see it is still a problem. 

Related article: MUST WATCH – The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s Love Letter to Black Lives Matter – VIDEO

Subscribe to The Hollywood Insider’s YouTube Channel, by clicking here.

‘Stillwater’ is mostly taken place in France, in Marseilles in particular. The cheaper Paris and more associated with crime. In the film, there are many instances of French racism towards the Arab characters, a huge reminder that racism comes in all shapes and sizes and a huge current problem. It was interesting seeing a different form of racism on screen and also having it be witnessed by Baker. A man that can ignore people’s ignorance rather than his translator and later friend, Virginie (Camille Cottin), refused to hear the racist things a man described, no matter what it costs. The film does a great job at showing the cultural differences and how Baker can’t acclimate or accept that things can be so different from home. Refusing to understand a culture can be a dangerous game. 

Against The Change

Bill Baker is portrayed as the all-American man, owner of two guns with a tattoo of an eagle on his arm. The theme of the film is the dangers of not accepting the change. In the opening scene of the film, Baker is part of a clean-up crew after a devastating tornado. While he is riding the bus with his other workers, he overhears a conversation in Spanish talking about the situation. They state how they rebuild the town and the people come back, the other saying crazy Americans which is responded with Americans don’t like change. A harsh, but true statement that relates to the realities of living in this country. Baker feeds into as the perfect example throughout his trip to France. His refusal of learning the language and acclimating to the culture is clear and apparent. Visual examples are done with Baker’s food choices. After landing in France, he is seen holding a Subway sub bag returning to his hotel room. France is known for its remarkable cuisine, but he simply rejects the idea of even trying it. 

Related article: Why Queen Elizabeth II Is One Of The Greatest Monarchs | Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of United Queendom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (Video Insight)

Limited Time Offer – FREE Subscription to The Hollywood Insider

Click here to read more on The Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – The Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.

Knock-off Knox

One of the historic murder trials that were affected by the brutalness of the media was the Amanda Knox case. It is easy to say that many people remember this case and when viewing this film there are some huge similarities. To begin with, an American student who goes abroad and her roommate gets murdered. Other than the country that it occurred in, Knox in Italy and ‘Stillwater’ in France, there is really no hiding the influence that the Knox case had on this film. The involvement of the media portraying her to be a monster wasn’t shown in the film but spoken heavily about. The fight for her to be exonerated for a crime she was sure she did not commit. Without assuming the ending of the film, Amanda Knox was acquitted for the murder of her roommate Meridith Kercher. The real villain being Rudy Guede who was convicted quietly, while Knox’s name was continuously shouted. 

Knox took to Twitter with the releasement of ‘Stillwater’ and states that the film is ‘profiting’ off of her story. It, of course, is not the first time that media and filmmakers have been influenced by the tragedies of her life, but the blindness of reaching out to her directly is painful. Again and again, her story is twisted and retold through people who only saw what the media gave them. In a very eloquent Twitter thread that was also posted by The Atlantic, she speaks about the harmfulness of exploitation of being a public figure. Normally this wouldn’t be involved in a film review, but it’s important to see where society can mess up and learn from their mistakes. She has no anger towards Damon and director Tom McCarthy, but extends her hand to them to join her on her podcast, ‘Labyrinths’, to discuss the film. The film can still be enjoyed, but hold it to a standard that this isn’t the truth of her case. 

Related article: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase: “The Importance of Venice Film Festival as the Protector of Cinema”

Related article: The Masters of Cinema Archives: The Hollywood Insider Pays Tribute to ‘La Vie En Rose’, Exclusive Interview with Director Olivier Dahan

Related article: – Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY


Matt Damon does a wonderful job in ‘Stillwater’ creating a flawed character that we love, but is questionable. The film is captivating and a heart-wrenching look at the legal system and how sometimes life is just brutal. 

‘Stillwater’ is playing in theaters across the country now.

Actors: Matt Damon | Abigail Breslin | Camille Cottin | Liloue Siauvaud | Deanna Dunagan

Director: Tom McCarthy | Writer: Tom McCarthy, Thomas Bidegain, Marcus Hinchey, Noe Debre | Producers: Steve Golin, Liza Chasin, Jonathan King

By Jack Colin

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “The Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard.

Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

Ways to support Black Lives Matter Movement to end systemic racism

More Interesting Stories From The Hollywood Insider

Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY

Compilation: All James Bond 007 Opening Sequences From 1962 Sean Connery to Daniel Craig

Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece

A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond

In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More

stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater, stillwater

Website It Up