Film Review – Richard Jewell (2019)

Title – Richard Jewell (2019)

Director – Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)

Cast – Paul Walter Hauser, Kathy Bates, Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde

Plot – Examines the true story of American security guard and wannabe police officer Richard Jewell (Hauser) who was thrust into the spotlight as a hero who saved 100’s from a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics but then became the prime suspect of the FBI’s investigation into the terrorist act.  

“I’m sorry the world has gone insane”

Review by Eddie on 01/04/2020

Continuing on his late career charge towards telling the stories of seemingly every day American’s in out of the ordinary situations, Clint Eastwood doesn’t mess with his modus operandi with his latest based on a true life tale Richard Jewell.

Directing this stoic tale with as little flair or effort as possible, Eastwood’s examination of Jewell’s headline making act of bravery, turned headline making life as a lead suspect as a potential terrorist is an always watchable exercise that features a career best turn from its main actor Paul Walter Hauser but it’s an experience that you wish was able to deliver something a little more.

A timely exploration of the way media can impact our lives and also the lives of the individuals it chooses to shove into the spotlight, Jewell feels like a relevant cinematic exercise and also one that wisely chooses too focus on an event that in many ways time has forgot, but you can’t help but feel Eastwood’s insistence on getting film’s wrapped as quickly as possible stops Jewell from evolving into the film it could’ve been.

With a loaded supporting cast including the Oscar nominated Kathy Bates, whose as good as she’s been in year’s as Jewell’s kindly mother Bobi, and the likes of Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde in her controversial and poorly written role as journalist Kathy Scruggs, Jewell has the star power and foundation to be a very strong prestige drama but Eastwood isn’t interested in making this film as he instead pushes forward with a drama 101 operation.

There’s nothing overtly bad about Eastwood’s effort, an effort than in many ways show’s more refinement than The Mule and also marks a major step up in quality over the dire The 15:17 to Paris but there’s just the feeling of acceptance for the middle ground as Jewell’s intriguing story plays out before our eyes.

With minimal big moments, a sparsely used score and barely a moment of inventiveness in a directional sense, Jewell marks further occasion where age has clearly wearied one of the industries hardest working and most well-respected figures, as the twilight of his career appears to be well and truly upon us as Jewell acts as a watchable new entry into Eastwood’s impressive filmography but one that won’t be remembered in the months let alone years soon to come.

Final Say –

An intriguing story that’s well acted yet played out in an unfussy and unimaginative fashion, Richard Jewell is a solid drama that never tries to be anything else or anything worth remembering once the credits have finished rolling.

3 Tupperware items out of 5    

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