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Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find” was pungently resonating watching Clint Eastwoods’s biopic of the treacherous treatment of Richard Jewell, a thirty-three-year-old security guard who discovered a bomb, in 1996’s Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Georgia; saving countless, his fate twisted, screaming that “no good deed goes unpunished”, the F.B.I. and the media target him as the prime suspect; Richard Jewell, depicted with remarkable candor, gullibility by actor Paul Walter Hauser,  is the eminent “good guy”, a simple goal of doing the right thing, loving law enforcement, following procedure, ingrained in his DNA, his simplicity, endearing and irritating; hires lawyer, Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell gives another flawless performance) and the two valiantly, vigorously combat the system.

Eastwood, liberally uses poetic license, to gift Jewell the lionization he earned; journalist Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) of the Atlantic Journal- Constitution, scavenges with sensational intensity, her FBI source Tom Shaw (Jon Hamm), procuring and publishing Jewell’s name as a “person of interest”, triggering abuse, violently raping the privacy and home of Richard and his mother Bobi, (Kathy Bates is brilliantly commanding);  tenacity, courage and integrity inform their reactions to this egregious violation of their human rights.


Oftentimes “the brighter the light, the darker the shadow”, as in O’Conner’s short story; Richard Jewell’s brightness radiates from his core; Eastwood with inimitable skill, dazzles audiences with an unlikely hero, whose incandescence burns even brighter now in 2019 as in 1996.





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