ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – O – Richard Jewell (2019) Movie Review

This is under O because of star Olivia Wilde.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Billy Ray (Screenplay) Marie Brenner (Magazine Article)

Starring: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm

Plot: American security guard Richard Jewell saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is vilified by journalists and the press who falsely reported that he was a terrorist.


Tagline – The world will know his name and the truth.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Shocking Trial by Media

Story: Richard Jewell starts as we meet Richard Jewell (Hauser) a man that has always wanted to work in law enforcement, starting in a mailroom where he meets lawyer Watson Bryant (Rockwell) before moving into security just in time for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, while on duty he discovers a suspicious package, which turns out to be a bomb, saving thousands of lives.

With no idea who left the bomb, FBI agent Tom Shaw (Hamm) is leading the case, which starts to look into Richard, while ambitious ruthless reporter Kathy Scruggs (Wilde) is looking to get the story first, Richard turns to Watson to help him prove that he is innocent after the press turns on him.

Thoughts on Richard Jewell

Characters – Richard Jewell is a man that has always dreamed of working in law enforcement, he will always follow the law even too close to the line, never over it. He might rub people the wrong way, with his honest persona, which Watson is the only way to see through. He is always wary on his duty as a security guard, which is why he discovered the bomb, saving people, he wants to clear his name because he knows he hasn’t don’t anything wrong. Watson Bryant is the lawyer that represents Richard after the two have had friendship in a previous job. He sees that Richard is bring framed by a media trial and will do everything in his power to defend him. Tom Shaw is leading the investigation, he also leaks the idea they are looking at Richard, which puts his job on the line, with him needing to find the suspect fast. Kathy Scruggs is the reporter that is always looking for a juicier story, she gets the story about Richard out there being the one that leads the goose chase. Bobi is Richard’s mother that has raised him well, honest and to work hard, she is left distraught by the stories about him knowing just how honest he is to the world.

PerformancesPaul Walter Hauser is brilliant in this leading role, showing the calm the man shows despite the pressure thrown on his character. Sam Rockwell once again shows us to be a wonderful supporting actor, while Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde are strong throughout, Kathy Bates is fantastic too showing all the added stress and trauma placed on her character.

StoryThe story here shows the security guard that saves thousands of lives from a bombing that the media decides to turn into the prime suspect despite his innocence, where he needs to prove his own innocence before the case just gets framed onto him. This story is based on the real events, which saw thousands saved from certain death, only shows how the panic to solve the case saw one person accused of being guilty of the crime, even though he saved them. It shows how the media has become judge and jury at times, which can be more damaging than the crime itself. This does highlight just how sudden somebody can be turned from hero to villain, though it would have been interesting to see and learn a little bit more about the full investigation.

Biopic/CrimeThis film uses the real event to show Richard Jewell’s life just before and just after the bombing, showing us how the crime was focused on the wrong person, sadly, we don’t spend enough time trying to solve the crime.

SettingsThe film uses a few main settings, the bombing locations, which is the horrors of the events, the home which shows us the loss of privacy the Jewell family received and the offices where questioning takes place.


Scene of the Movie – The private hearing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not looking at solving the crime.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fascinating drama that showed us the shocking story of trial by media of an innocent man with impressive performances throughout.

Overall: Fascinating.

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