Richard Jewell tells the true story of a hero turned villain by the relentless journalists wanting to report of the 1996 Olympics bombing. Clint Eastwood tells this tale with pure emotion and passion, to get to the depths of this harrowing story.
With films based on real events, it is hard to know what is actually true and what is fictional. After reading up on this story there are slight differences but this is a pretty accurate representation of the true happenings. Slight controversy surrounds this film, as there is one scene that depicts a real person in a derogatory fashion, a scene that could’ve been done so many different ways to not change the direction of this story.
Structurally this was fantastic, building right up to the 180 degree U-turn this film was going to take. It shows the relentlessness of the media going after this man who at first was the hero, really making you feel for these characters under this cloud of blame.
Something that Eastwood and the cast manage to capture throughout is the emotion, you connect with these people, the victims that is. Sam Rockwell is the real standout as Jewell’s lawyer, but the ability to bounce off of Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell) really elevated both characters to the top of that emotional tree. A shout-out also goes to Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother, playing a vital role in seeing the effects these events had on this mother and son bond.
True stories are always difficult to perfect, this was not perfection by all means. But Eastwood has managed to get the emotional tone correct in the right places, which was obviously helped by a very good cast. Some controversy does surround this film, and that is certainly justified, but take that out and you have an emotional and almost true depiction of this story.