Richard Jewell

Director: Clint Eastwood
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 3.0

Back in 1996, the Summer Olympics were underway in Atlanta, Georgia, when a bomb went off in Centennial Park, injuring hundreds (and killing one) - the first person to identify the suspicious backpack (containing the pipe bombs) was security guard Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), who was, at first, lauded as a hero but then FBI officer Tom Shaw (Jon Hamm) considered Jewell the chief suspect and told Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) about him.  Inside this snug, very low-key movie by Eastwood is what might be his deepest stab at both the U.S. Government and the media - which is vexing, considering that it's made in a time where the polarizing President of the United States has blasted "Fake News" - as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a major newspaper both ruin a man's life without getting all their facts in order ... and weren't the least bit apologetic about it (Jewell passed away at age 44; you can see how the stress built up).  It's a grotesque example of "beating up the loser" - Jewell is plump, lives with his Mother (the ever-remarkable Kathy Bates) and is enamored with Authority in an almost sickening way, and it's easy to cheer when his attorney, played by Sam Rockwell, tells him to stop being subservient to people who don't care about him, do not respect his rights and want to do him harm.  The same rules apply to all of us....