I love a crime film, and find them super interesting when they’re based on a true story (I saw Bombshell in a Cineworld unlimited screening last week). What was more interesting to me about this film was that I actually didn’t even know this bomb had happened. I guess that’s probably for a few reasons, firstly I was only 6 when it occurred, secondly, media wasn’t as accessible in the 90s, and finally, I feel like; and I might be wrong, I was distracted by the violence around the world because there was still a lot going on in Ireland.
Anyway, Richard Jewell is Clint Eastwood’s newest film and is focused on the bombing in Centennial park during the Atlanta Olympics of 1996 and the security guard how was hailed a hero for finding the bomb and then became the number one suspect in the case. Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) had dreams and aspirations of being a police officer and protecting his country. Unfortunately, due to a few twists and turns in his career he ends up a thirty something year old man living at home with his elderly mother Bobi (Kathy Bates). Jewell was working as a security guard at Centennial park the night that the bomb exploded and he in fact reported the suspicious package to the police and then attempted to evacuate and create a perimeter. Initially Jewell is branded a hero.
However, following a tip from an ex-employee FBI Agent Shaw (Jon Hamm) is encouraged to consider him a suspect. When Shaw leaks this information to journalist Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) she writes a front page article informing the world. Thus the manhunt for Jewell begins and he turns to a lawyer he once worked with; as his copy boy, Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell) for help.
Although we will never know what is a true portrayal of the investigation and what is fictional, there is definitely an implication that Jewell was very wrongly done to and the FBI felt under pressure to convict somebody. I found myself getting really angry; there were definitely similarities to Netflix’s should Making A Murderer, at the injustice Jewell received. And grateful for Bryant for supporting him through the investigation.
Hauser was definitely a good casting choice as he nailed the helpless ‘do gooder’ role and the audience sympathy for him was high. Hamm on the opposite side played the villain desperate to be right perfectly. And my goodness Kathy Bates’s plea for her son’s name to be cleared was so emotional; I think I heard she’s just got an award nomination for it.
The film officially comes out in the UK at the end of the month. If you find true crime movies interesting, I promise this will have you hooked. I’m now off to google what actually happened and what aspects of the film were true!!