Richard Jewell    review by Bobby Blakey

While he has been in the industry working for a long time, I first became a fan of Paul Walter Hauser through is awesome performance in 2017s I, Tonya. He instantly became a new favorite of mine. Now he is stepping into his biggest role yet leading the charge in Clint Eastwood’s new film Richard Jewell. Alongside Hauser is a great cast including Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde. Could this awesome team up do the true story of this hero justice or will it be a bomb that couldn’t be stopped?

Richard Jewell follows a security guard who reports finding a device at the 1996 Atlanta bombing making him a hero whose swift actions save countless lives. But within days, the law enforcement wannabe becomes the FBI’s number one suspect, vilified by press and public alike, his life ripped apart. Reaching out to independent, anti-establishment attorney Watson Bryant, Jewell staunchly professes his innocence. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client’s name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people trying to destroy him.

 

Going into this movie I had to put aside my fandom of Hauser to really allow the film to sink in. I love his usual humorous every man approach to some of his characters, but here is taking on something a lot different while a bit the same. I can tell you with no hesitation that Hauser is brilliant in this role and not only carries this film he immerses himself into the role to where you quickly see only Richard Jewell. Everyone in the cast is great, but this is his movie and he knocks it out of the park.

 

The story is slow paced by design as it takes us through the lead up and into the story and beyond. Even knowing the outcome of this story it is so well crafted you keep wondering if he did it or there is going to be a big twist, but instead it’s just real life unfolding. This is a testament to great filmmaking 

and again Eastwood showcases his masterfulness of it all. I was surprised that there were as many lighthearted moments here for a drama but they allow you to really connect with Jewell and appreciated who he is. His laid back demeanor also builds towards two of the best sequences of the film both showcasing Hauser’s brilliance as an actor.

 

This is one of those films that is not just entertaining, but also helping to right a wrong in this man’s life. I hope this film gets the audience it deserves and cannot wait to see what Hauser is up to next.  

This release not only includes the film but bonus content including featurettes taking you behind the real story and bringing it to the big screen. Grab your copy of Richard Jewell available now on  digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on March 17th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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