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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Richard Jewell 2019 * * * 1/2 Stars

Richard Jewell Director: Clint Eastwood
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates

"You're a suspect, you don't talk." Any moviegoer would be "suspect" if they didn't at least check out 2019's Richard Jewell. Along with Dark Waters and The Irishman, "Jewell" is one of the best films of this year being based on a true-life article (or book).

Richard Jewell, while looking more proficient instead of being unnecessarily flashy, is a sledgehammering account of persecution, a well cast drama, and a thorough biopic to boot. 

In truth, if you like Clint Eastwood movies based on true stories (Sully, American Sniper, Changeling), then "Jewell" will keep your cinematic playing field level. And if you demand an impeccable sense of time and place (summer in Atlanta circa 1996), then Richard Jewell will put you right there nervously singing the tune "Macarena".

Image result for richard jewell movie scenesProduced by Leonardo DiCaprio (yes that Leo) and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (most Clint Eastwood flicks are), "Jewell" chronicles the Centennial Olympic Park Bombing via the '96 Summer Olympics. A security guard working there (Richard Jewell) discovers a bomb and alerts authorities only to be accused of planting the darn thing himself.

Edited cleanly in time lines, easy to follow, and devoid of any major glitz, Richard Jewell runs 129 minutes with hand-held director Paul Greengrass originally on board to helm. I'm kinda glad Eastwood took over the project. Greengrass is more of a jittery, elusive action guy as opposed to being a one-take regulator like Clint Eastwood. "Jewel's" diegesis might not be fast-paced enough for good old Paulie.

All in all, the best things about "Jewell" are Eastwood's tireless attention to detail, his standardized yet streamlined direction, and his actors who are perfect for their roles (Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell, Jon Hamm as FBI agent Tom Shaw, and Kathy Bates as Jewell's emotionally distraught mom).

Image result for richard jewell movie scenesI remember saying in 2018 that Clint Eastwood needed to better his faulty directorial decisions and take his time more (that was in regards to The 15:17 to Paris). With Richard Jewell, I guess he heeded my advice. Rating: 3 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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