The true story of security guard Richard Jewell, who saved lives in the 1996 Atlanta bombing and was vilified by the media as the suspected bomber.
Richard Jewell (2019)
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Billy Ray
Starring Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates,
Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Nina Arianda, Ian Gomez
Based on the magazine article by Marie Brenner
Oscar Nominations - Best Supporting Actress (Kathy Bates)
I had never heard the story of Richard Jewell prior to seeing the trailer of this movie. Of course, I looked it up afterward and couldn't believe the irresponsibility of the media and the FBI in this particular case. I understand the need to solve the 1996 Atlanta bombing quickly, but find some evidence before you railroad the one guy who did the right thing. Richard Jewell is an eye-opening biopic of a simple, decent man who had his entire life ripped open because of two relentless FBI agents and an unethical journalist who made him out to be a monster. The film is a fantastic watch just for this insane story alone.
Paul Walter Hauser plays Richard Jewell, in his first major lead role after great supporting performances in I, Tonya and BlackKklansman. The guy is growing into a great character actor and he's definitely one to watch in the near future. He plays Jewell with such likability and decency that you feel sick to your stomach when the media targets him, immediately after hailing him as a hero. He never gets a damn apology either. Sam Rockwell steals the show was Watson Bryant, Jewell's lawyer friend whose just the right mixture of asshole and friend. Really, the whole cast delivers here, with Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde rounding out a fantastic ensemble.
At its core, Richard Jewell is about truth and responsibility, and Eastwood's expert direction tells his story as honestly as possible using the facts. Richard Jewell saved lives, and he nearly paid for it by ending up on the chopping block as the feds' scapegoat. Watching this movie may cause you to wonder if "journalistic integrity" really exists, or if it's a rare thing displayed by only a small amount of truth seekers. Regardless, check the movie out and decide for yourself.