Roughneck in France | WORLD – .

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Roughneck in France | WORLD – .


The message of the new film Still water can be summed up in one key phrase: “Life is brutal.

Oklahoma oil rig worker Bill Baker (Matt Damon) travels from Oklahoma to Marseille to visit his young adult daughter, who is in prison in France, convicted of murdering his lesbian girlfriend. When she finds a new lead that could exonerate her, Bill stays in Marseille to investigate. He meets a young French girl named Maya and her mother Virginie (Camille Cottin): the three become friends while Virginie helps Bill in his investigation.

Damon plays the character of Bill credibly: a generous and pragmatic mender of all things mechanical and electrical, but also a battered sinner seeking justice for his family by almost any means. Bill also has a dark past. The film asks if he can change.

In one scene, Bill accosts two young women at a restaurant, showing that he may be prepared to act uncivil, like a bully would. Yet he shows great kindness to Maya and Virginia, and he prays to Jesus several times before each meal. Given Bill’s confrontational demeanor and faith, the hype set out to portray Still water as a commentary on Trump voters.

The film (rated R for vulgar language, violence, and brief nudity-free sex scene) builds up complex characters and themes, but several tight 90-minute turns serve as overly sensational plot elements. Still water ultimately pits the possibility of personal redemption and unexpected new friendships against the darker view that life is just plain cruel.

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