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Clint Eastwood's "Richard Jewell" Applauding at the AFI Fest Premiere

Richard Jewell, the guard who warned the police about a suspicious backpack that eventually exploded, saving the lives of countless people at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and then accused of planting a bomb, will soon receive a memorial plaque in the centennial Atlanta Olympic Park. ,

“I would love the street named after him,” Clint Eastwood said after the world premiere of his film “Richard Jewell” at the AFI Fest. "He deserves even more."

With "Richard Jewell," Eastwood gave the late guard something more than a plaque or a street of the same name. Eastwood created a monument to Jewell's heroism and a portrait of its crushing consequences, which Eastwood calls "the great American tragedy."

Eastwood began filming Richard Jewell at the end of June and wrapped it up in August, allowing Warner Bros. get it at the cinemas on December 13th. The film could be successful for commercial purposes, although unlike the American Sniper or Sally – other Eastwood films featuring the dark side of famous heroes – it does not have a star. Comedian Paul Walter Hauser plays Jewell (John Hill was originally attached), and he makes the most of his first starring role, playing the title character as a kind of principled sad sack of Paul Blart, an ordinary person who did an extraordinary thing.

A latecomer Richard Jewell is faced with the challenge of winning a seasonal award, although the film is certainly not difficult to attract attention. Billy Ray's script, based on a 1997 Vanity Fair article and a new case book, captures the theme of a lowly Southerner, a Baptist who loves weapons, hunting and his mother (Katie Bates), unjustly pursued by “two of the most powerful forces in the world” – The United States government and unscrupulous media.

The editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has already attacked the film, defending a newspaper report on the case. However, at the time, this publication was criticized because the American Journalism Review criticized the Journalistic Constitution for causing full media frenzy through scarce sources.

“I find it terrible, to put it bluntly, in how quickly everyone jumped to touch this guy,” said the late David Shaw, a Times journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize, in a 1996 interview. “To write about this in the context of a wider story about the explosion, in the sixth or eighth paragraph, is one thing. But to release a special publication and begin to conduct its newsletter and publish stories on it is extraordinary. ”

But Richard Jewell also surpasses all expectations in some ways, especially the way Olivia Wilde plays the Atlanta police reporter Katie Scruggs. She's written as an unethical journalist sleeping with an FBI agent (John Hamm) to get information (or maybe because he looks like John Hamm … or maybe all of the above). She is also callous, frivolous, a drunkard and worries only about checking the facts of her reports a few weeks after the start of the story.

In addition, she seems to have the power of invisibility and the incredible ability to develop her conscience shortly after praying to God that the bomber be "[expletive] interesting."

Wilde did not attend Q&A on Wednesday evening.

Eastwood was joined by Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Bates and Hamm. Bates earned a standing ovation from an audience consisting mainly of members of the Screen Actors Guild. They grew up in Eastwood, although, as the 89-year-old director noted: “I am an old-timer. Retiree. They should treat me well.

Rockwell, amusing and fierce as Jewell’s lawyer, may be the film’s best chance of winning an award season given his recent video with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Vice.” When asked how he played Rockwell, Eastwood replied that he thought it was great to portray George W. Bush in "Vice", although he admitted that he "did not see the whole film."

Eastwood tried to create “Richard Jewell” for four years before he gathered this spring. “I wanted this picture in the worst possible way,” he said, ending the evening. "I sold a lot of souls to the devil."

In a few weeks we will find out how this deal comes about.

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