Sneer Campaign: 'Richard Jewell' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Sneer Campaign: 'Richard Jewell'

There's no post-credits scene at the end of director Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell, a good-acting, bad-faith dramatization of the plight of a wrongfully accused security guard at the 1996 Olympic Games.

But if you stay put through all of them, patiently sheltering in place until minute 132, you'll strain your eyes to read this advisory: "The film is based on actual historical events. Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatization." Jewell, a 33-year-old who'd been dismissed from jobs as a campus police officer and sheriff's deputy, discovered a bomb in Atlanta's Centennial Park. He was helping to evacuate the area when the device exploded, only to find himself publicly identified as the prime suspect. (Jewell was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, after being put through the wringer of public scrutiny.)

Anyway, that lawerly little paragraph follows, by several minutes, two larger title cards explaining that Billy Ray's screenplay was based on two nonfiction pieces, a 1997 Vanity Fair story by Marie Brenner and The Suspect, a book by Kent Alexander and Kevin Salwen that was just published last month. But nowhere in either will you find any evidence that Kathy Scruggs and Ron Martz's Page One Atlanta Journal Constitution story — which accurately reported that the FBI was considered Jewell a suspect — only happened because Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) offered the lead FBI investigator (Jon Hamm) a sexual favor in exchange for a tip. In the movie's imagined scenario, they're not lovers sharing careless pillow talk; it's explicitly an exchange. "Should we get a room or just go to my car?" Wilde asks.

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