Clint Eastwood has been hit or miss for many years with the latter years of his career being more miss than hit. I did really like The Mule, which was his latest effort. It was funny and engaged the viewers. The story of Richard Jewell is one that I did not know about but I was willing to check it out and see if Eastwood good go on a winning streak of sorts. I’m happy to say that Richard Jewell was actually really entertaining and has a very well acted performance by Paul Walter Hauser.
The film is about the true story about a security guard who located a pipe bomb in 1996 during a celebration in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. While the bombing did injure around 100 people, the acts of the guard prevented more chaos. However, after the incidents the hero soon becomes the suspect as the FBI become relentless in their pursuit of Jewell being the lead suspect, despite Jewell not being involved with the crime. The film also stars Jon Hamm, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, and Kathy Bates.
Hauser is really good in this film. I liked his role in I, Tonya and he shows here he can handle a lead. Rockwell is always on form and one of my very favorites. Bates also has a rather understated but powerful role. The film does well to capture the feelings of panic after the bombing and really does a job of portraying the events that transpired. There’s been controversy recently because of the negative portrayal of reporter Kathy Scruggs. I don’t know if its true that the journalist was like that however her death from overdose must have been tragic, especially as it likely stemmed from the Jewell case.
I’m not sure a lot of it was as factual as it can be but Eastwood brings a very digestible and watchable effort that shows how hard it is to show innocence with circumstances look like they are going against you. After seeing the worst film of the year yesterday, I am glad to have seen something that I really liked. Clint Eastwood’s directorial career lives on and feels as fresh as ever.