Stillwater: How Much of Matt Damon’s New Movie Was Inspired by Amanda Knox?

In Matt Damon’s new film Stillwater, the onetime Jason Bourne trades slick spy devices for a dramatic storyline involving a younger girl in Europe who’s imprisoned overseas for a homicide she says she didn’t commit.

The premise, Stillwater’s director and co-screenwriter Tom McCarthy tells Vainness Truthful, was instantly impressed by the Amanda Knox saga that erupted in Italy after Knox’s roommate was killed in Perugia in 2007. Knox, an American learning in Italy, was arrested as a suspect and imprisoned for 4 years. (In 2015, Knox was acquitted of the homicide by the very best courtroom in Italy.)

McCarthy says that like many across the globe, he was fascinated by the story. And the filmmaker—who would win an Oscar in 2016 for co-adapting The Boston Globe’s real-life investigation into the Catholic church’s sexual abuse for Highlight—couldn’t assist however think about how it could really feel to be in Knox’s sneakers.

“There have been so many characters across the case that I actually adopted fairly intently,” McCarthy says. “However actually the very first thing that I took away from it was, what would that be like as an American scholar to go over [to Europe] for what must be probably the most thrilling moments in a young-adult life and to search out your self in that tragedy? There have been simply so many layers to that story that saved anybody who was following fairly riveted…. Who’re the individuals which can be visiting [her], and what are these relationships? Like, what’s the story round the story?”

The dynamic that intrigued McCarthy most was the younger girl’s relationship along with her father. With the assistance of French writers Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré, McCarthy fleshed out a fictional relationship and storyline that centered across the true-story premise.

“We determined, ‘Hey, let’s depart the Amanda Knox case behind,’” says McCarthy. “However let me take this piece of the story—an American girl learning overseas concerned in some sort of sensational crime and he or she leads to jail—and fictionalize all the things round it.”

“What was extra fascinating to [McCarthy] was what occurs after all of the cameras go away, and what occurs to the household,” Damon tells Vainness Truthful in a separate interview. “After which they got here up with this story of a roughneck from Oklahoma who has this sort of fraught relationship together with his daughter, and carried all this grief and disgrace and ache, and he had performed harm to this relationship and was attempting to restore it within the context of his daughter being in jail, and feeling sort of liable for the place she ended up and the place her life had taken her. And in order that, I believed, was a very fascinating place to place a film.”

In Stillwater, faculty scholar Allison (Abigail Breslin) has been imprisoned for a violent crime in Marseille, France—not Perugia, Italy—for 5 years and counting. And sadly for Allison, she doesn’t have the robust assist system Knox had. Allison has solely her estranged, ne’er-do-well father Invoice Baker (Damon) flying in from rural Oklahoma to attempt to assist abroad.

Knox’s precise father, Curt Knox, was Knox’s most vocal supporter in the course of the 4 years she spent in Italian jail—providing media updates on his daughter and the household’s efforts to assist her. Per Time in 2011:

“By means of a fancy algorithm involving donated airline miles, trip and sick time, the household coordinated schedules in order that one relative or one other was all the time stationed in Italy to spend time with Knox, now 24, in the course of the handful of visits she was allowed weekly. They had been [in Italy] so usually in the course of the 4 years Knox spent behind bars that they rented an Italian farmhouse and purchased a jalopy. Again residence, they piled into [Knox’s mother’s] West Seattle kitchen to await the weekly cellphone name that Knox was allowed to make from jail. In the midst of depleting financial institution accounts and taking out second mortgages, they’ve racked up authorized payments in extra of $1 million, in accordance with the Seattle Instances.

“When it’s your youngster, you’ll go to the top of the earth for them,” says Pamela Van Swearingen, a Seattle lawyer who supplied recommendation on authorized choices, together with a doable assessment by the European Court docket of Human Rights. “I don’t suppose she would have her freedom in the event that they hadn’t performed all they may.”

Damon’s Invoice, in the meantime, is a gun-toting, goatee-wearing roughneck—the sort of quintessential American you may spot a mile away. (The artistic choice allowed McCarthy and his cowriters to discover racial and political tensions when Invoice arrives in France.) Invoice doesn’t have any pals, members of the family, or familiarity with the French language. However he finds companionship—and some unexpected storylines—in a French actress (Camille Cottin) and her daughter (Lilou Siauvaud).

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2021/07/stillwater-movie-matt-damon-amanda-knox | Stillwater: How A lot of Matt Damon’s New Film Was Impressed by Amanda Knox?


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