Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell (Clint Eastwood, 2019) wr. Billy Ray; Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates

American security guard Richard Jewell saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.

This is the true story of a fat guy who discovered a 'suspicious package' and got hundreds of people to move away before it blew up. The FBI got the idea into its head that he was the bomber.

I spent a lot of the film worrying that the fat actor might have a heart attack on the set. The real RJ was fat, diabetic, and died at 44 of heart failure. A lot of my viewing time was thinking about the tolerance of obesity in the States. This guy was employed by various law enforcement agencies, so they obviously thought he could do the job, despite his size.

Kathy Bates is reliable yet again as an emotional woman. How old is she? She must be 100. She's indestructible, and doesn't even look old. Amazing actress.

Sam Rockwell is the real star. He's maybe just a little bit too laid-back, given that he's an inexperienced attorney representing a client who's facing the death penalty, but he's most of the fun in Eastwood's rather glacial film.

There's an obnoxious female reporter (Wilde) who runs with the bomber story, having got the scoop by having sex with the FBI agent (Hamm). Apparently, the reaction to her character is part of the reason the film was a relative failure at the box office.

Paul Hauser is on the screen a lot, and his performance repays the time given it: it's nuanced, and subtle.

Ideologically, a typical Eastwood film: the little guy wins his freedom because he espouses the kind of American values CT does.

Fragment of dialogue:
Lawyer (trying to find possible weaknesses): 'Are you a member of the NRA?'
RJ: 'Is that a fringe organisation?'

Another fragment:
Lawyer: Do you have any firearms in the house?
RJ: 'We are in Georgia.' (He has about twelve.)

References and Links

IMDb page
Wikipedia page
Wikipedia article on the real Richard Jewell

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 20 February, 2020 | Now: 20 February, 2020