If you have been speculating about which older crime drama film the subtle machinations of Netflix’s recommendation algorithm have been pushing this week, then we have the answer for you. This week it is a film starring Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin.
In the vast sea of content on Netflix, one gripping drama loosely influenced by the true crime incident of Amanda Knox, has risen to the top in the week between January 15th to 21st, 2024. Stillwater, starring Damon, has secured its place at the fourth spot on the streaming platform’s top ten films list globally. The film has also claimed spots in the top ten in 22 countries on Netflix, spanning from Nicaragua to the Netherlands.
Directed by Tom McCarthy, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker behind Spotlight, and written by McCarthy and Marcus Hinchey, Stillwater follows the story of an unemployed oil rig worker from Oklahoma, Bill Baker.
When his estranged daughter, Allison (Abigail Breslin), is accused of murdering her ex-girlfriend, Bill sets out to Marseille to prove his convicted daughter’s innocence. Camille Cottin’s Virginie joins Bill to help exonerate Allison.
Damon, a Harvard-educated actor hailing from Massachusetts, wanted to make sure that his portrayal of a born-and-bred Oklahoma roughneck didn’t devolve into a caricature. In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Damon reminisced how his meeting with the real roughnecks—oil rig workers—in Stillwater, Oklahoma, went down, “I think at first they were naturally kind of wary, like, ‘What are you doing? You’re making a movie about a roughneck? Are you gonna make a caricature out of us? Are you looking down your nose at us?’”
One of the rig workers, Kenny Baker, influenced Matt Damon so much that they named the character after him. “I think once they realised what we were doing and how we really just wanted to get it right, they could not have been more accessible and helpful.” Damon said, “The physicality of the guy and everything from the small ways in which I changed my body to the clothes I was wearing, all came from those guys.”
You can watch Stillwater on Netflix as it continues to soar on the top ten films charts globally, and catch the trailer here: