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Richard Jewell (15)

Cast: Sam Rockwell, Paul Walter Hauser, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Billy Ray
Director: Clint Eastwood
Release Date: 31/01/2020
Running Time: 131mins
Country: US
Year: 2019

Richard Jewell dreams of a role in law enforcement. In 1996, he is proud to work as a security guard at the 26th Summer Olympics in his home city of Atlanta. During a concert in Centennial Park on the middle weekend of the Games, Jewell spots an unattended bag and raises the alarm. His swift and decisive action saves countless lives. FBI Agent Tom Shaw and partner FBI Agent Dan Bennet come under intense pressure to apprehend the bomber. They incorrectly identify Jewell as a suspect.


 

LondonNet Film Review
Richard Jewell (15)

The media’s character assassination of a socially awkward yet resolutely well-intentioned loner casts a dark shadow over the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in Richard Jewell. Based on a Vanity Fair article and a subsequent book, The Suspect, by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen, director Clint Eastwood’s quietly indignant drama is a stark reminder of how easily rumour and supposition can be mistaken for “fact”…

Scriptwriter Billy Ray distils three months of trial by media and at least one potential violation of Jewell’s civic rights into a compelling character study anchored by a winning performance from Paul Walter Hauser as the do-gooder, who pursues public service with a tenacity that errs uncomfortably close to obsession. Sam Rockwell is terrific as the down-on-his-luck lawyer, who is hired to pick at the seams of the FBI’s conduct and restore lustre to Jewell’s unfairly tarnished reputation. Meanwhile, Kathy Bates is deservedly Oscar-nominated for her heartrending portrayal of Jewell’s besieged mother, who feels humiliated by searches of her home in full view of clamouring TV reporters. “They went through my underthings,” she sobs to her son. “How much indignity do they want us to take?”

For more than a decade, Richard Jewell (Hauser) dreams of a role in law enforcement. In 1996, he is proud to work as a security guard at the 26th Summer Olympics in his home city of Atlanta. During a concert in Centennial Park on the middle weekend of the Games, Jewell spots an unattended bag and raises the alarm. His swift and decisive action saves countless lives and he is anointed a hero. FBI Agent Tom Shaw (Jon Hamm) and partner FBI Agent Dan Bennet (Ian Gomez) come under intense pressure to apprehend the bomber. They incorrectly identify Jewell as a suspect because his profile “fits the hero-bomber to a T”. Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde), a hard-nosed journalist with the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, trades on her potent sexuality to extract confidential information from Shaw and splashes the FBI’s suspicions about Jewell across the front page. The FBI is forced to respond, calling Jewell in for questioning under false pretences while a voracious media pack swarms around the home of his disbelieving mother, Bobi (Kathy Bates). As public opinion wavers, the grossly maligned loner hires lawyer Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell) to refute the bogus accusations.

Richard Jewell restores Eastwood’s stature as a gifted humanist director after a painfully misconceived reenactment of another terrorist outrage in The 15:17 To Paris. The problematic and hotly disputed depiction of Scruggs, who burns white hot courtesy of Wilde’s performance, doesn’t extinguish the fire in the film’s belly about presumed innocence. The truth may set you free but it can also chain you tightly to suspicion.

– Jo Planter


London Cinemas Showing Richard Jewell


From: Friday 3rd April
To: Thursday 9th April

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 10th April
To: Thursday 16th April

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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Richard Jewell


From: Friday 3rd April
To: Thursday 9th April

No cinema infomation at the moment

From: Friday 10th April
To: Thursday 16th April

No cinema infomation at the moment