The real-life dramatization of the Atlanta Olympic bombing and the central figure in that investigation — security guard Richard Jewell — is being strategically released this weekend, primed for the upcoming motion picture awards season. Yesterday actress Kathy Bates was granted a nomination for her supporting role, and it is awaiting further recognition in the coming weeks.
The Clint Eastwood-directed drama has been warmly received by critics — standing with a very strong 87% Positive on Rotten tomatoes — even as many are pained at the depiction of the press in the film. Michael O’Sullivan in the Washington Post calls it, ”A story about the frightening possibility of false accusation…But coming as it does in 2019, its vilification of reporters and the feds is even scarier.’’ In Slant, Chuck Bowen stated, ‘’Even with Eastwood so explicitly grinding an ax, Richard Jewell has the visceral power of his other recent political fables.’’ Many more of these grudgingly praiseworthy reviews are found, a testament to how good the film appears to be.
One outlet, however, has not been kind at all, and it is an understandably miffed Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The paper, and its reporter Kathy Scruggs, are prominent characters in the film, one in which the press is shown to be a reckless and damaging entity. The AJC has taken exception with both the way Scruggs is depicted, and how the paper is blamed for the false narrative that the titular character was a prime suspect for a time, and labeled a ‘’terrorist’’.
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