During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell discovers a suspicious backpack under a bench in Centennial Park. With little time to spare, he helps to evacuate the area until the incendiary device inside the bag explodes. Hailed as a hero who saved lives, Jewell’s own life starts to unravel when the FBI names him the prime suspect in the bombing.
The movie is based on the true story of Richard Jewell who was initially hailed as a hero and then became the prime suspect in the bombing. The movie stays pretty true to the real story as you can see here.
There is some controversy regarding the depiction of Kathy Scruggs, the journalist. The movie hints at her having received confidential information from the FBI agent in exchange of sex. The criticism is valid that the movie indulges in character assassination of Kathy Scrugg’s character while trying to condemn the character assassination of Richard Jewell.
Some scenes are excellent like the scene where the FBI agents search Richard Jewell’s home or the scene where Richard Jewell is being nice to the FBI agents interviewing him.
Paul Walter Hauser is excellent as Richard Jewell. He makes you feel bad for his plight while at times you feel that he is being a complete idiot and brought this plight upon himself. He should have been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Sam Rockwell was good as usual as his Attorney Watson Bryant. Kathy Bates was good as Richard Jewell’s mother Barbara. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Jon Hamm was good as FBI Agent Tom Shaw. Olivia Wilde was good as Kathy Scruggs, the journalist. The rest of the cast was good too.
Clint Eastwood’s direction is excellent. The movie shows how the media can destroy the life an innocent man and his family. The movie is very engrossing and one of the best movies of the year 2019.