Hollywood liberal Matt Damon claims that his essential onsite research into the daily lives of Trump-supporting, Oklahoma oil rig workers provided a revelatory experience.
Anti-Trump Damon spent weeks socializing with the workers in “absolutely critical” preparation for his role in “Stillwater,” a film that just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
At a presser, Democrat Damon said of his Oklahoma prep work to develop his movie character Bill Baker that “These guys don’t apologize for who they are. They’re in the oil business, of course he voted for Trump,” Variety reported.
“These people were wonderful to us, they really helped us. It was eye-opening for me…They all have goatees, the sunglasses. They’re not six-pack ab guys, but they’re strong.”
(Video: Focus Features)
In the movie, Damon plays a roughneck (as oil workers are known) who travels to France to assist his imprisoned daughter who insists she’s innocent of murder. In the process of conducting his own investigation, he apparently is called upon to deal with obstacles relating to culture and language and the country’s procedurally complicated legal system.
Initial reviews of the film that has four credited screenwriters (which is seldom a good sign) suggest that “Stillwater” is perhaps a quasi crime thriller with a large side order of soap opera and political correctness.
“Being invited into their homes, into a backyard barbecue, a guitar comes out and they start singing church songs. It’s a very specific place… and very different to where I grew up,” added Damon, who was born in Cambridge, Mass., and attended Harvard University, about the welcoming he received in Oklahoma.
“One of the biggest laughs at the movie’s Thursday night premiere came when Damon’s character is asked by a French woman if he voted for Donald Trump. He did not, he responds, but only because a prior felony kept him from voting at all,” Variety added.
When a movie star talks about the need to do research in a red state, as if he or she is conducting a cultural anthropology study into a long-lost civilization, it almost always comes across as condescending. Perhaps Damon gets the benefit of the doubt on this one, especially if the star of “Good Will Hunting” (and many other films) is really a man of goodwill. Damon affects a fake southern accent for the part, which may or may not contribute to the desired realism.
“Stillwater” debuts in America on July 30 and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it is destined for the streaming platforms sooner rather than later after a brief theatrical release.
“Oscar-winning director Tom McCarthy, of ‘Spotlight’ fame, said he was working on the film against the backdrop of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which also influenced his approach to Baker’s character and how he is viewed overseas,” Reuters asserted.
Although it may be too early to tell for sure, this suggests that the movie, given the typical elitist leanings of the entertainment sector, contains an anti-President Trump subtext even if the main character is portrayed sympathetically.
Red-state “convert” Matt Damon is presumably aware that audiences outside of liberal enclaves tend to avoid movies that needlessly inject politics into the storyline.
The film is said to be loosely based on the real-life Amanda Knox case in Italy.
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