Based on true events, Richard Jewell is above all, an honest movie about the man, the myth, and the legend. I would dare to call it a feel-good movie, although it revolves around a real tragedy and subsequent mess involving Richard. Mostly because it shows you that there’s the other side of some things that you would usually call irrelevant and even obnoxious. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that I would be one of those guys who made fun of Richard when I was younger. Today, I realize what responsibilities they have and just how fucked up it would be if something went wrong.
Richard Jewell is not just a movie about a hero but also about all the ordinary people who take their jobs seriously. They are the real heroes day in and out and without them, this world would come to a stop. Something that became painfully obvious during the pandemic. Directed by none other than Clint Eastwood and featuring one hell of a performance by Paul Walter Hauser, this is one of those biopics that will stay with you. Clint totally redeemed himself for a blunder called The Mule. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention always good Sam Rockwell, equally perfect plus beautiful Olivia Wilde, and fucking legend Kathy Bates. Now that’s what I call a wrecking crew.
Meet Richard Jewell, a committed security guard who dreams of being a cop one day. He takes his job seriously and this can be a bit annoying for people around him. However, that doesn’t bother him. It doesn’t bother him because he has a job to do and he will fucking do it no matter what. This leads us to events that happened during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia…
What makes this movie unique is the unassuming and prejudice-free attitude that enables us to draw our conclusions. Conclusions about everything, from the world we live in over certain occupations to finally people who might seem irritating at first sight. And I won’t even go into the whole mess that happened after the event. There have been quite a few movies dealing with the subject of media and law enforcement but this one is one the best ones. On that note, I wonder what would happen if Richard was black and a couple of other factors were different? Something that happens every day in every city in the USA? I better stop now before this review turns into a rant about cops and investigators.
I also found it so amazing to look at a man with such a firm set of values. He knows who he is, what’s his job and takes pleasure in it without being complacent. That feeling of a job well done and total dedication without the baggage that usually comes with it is something that always fascinated me.
There are a lot of movies that are just milking some true events for empathy, money, and recognition. This is not one of those movies. It’s a gripping and engaging drama with a strong and positive vibe. This is a slow-burner but you won’t be bored any minute of it. If you’re looking for movies like Richard Jewell, I recommend you check out Best of Enemies, Bombshell, and Spotlight. And if you’re up for a bit darker but still based on true events movies check out Dark Waters, An American Crime and Control.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Billy Ray, Marie Brenner, Kent Alexander, Kevin Salwen
Cast: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, Ian Gomez, Mike Pniewski, Nina Arianda
Fun Facts: Filming of the concerts and bombing scenes took place in the same location as the original incident site of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.