To Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman, the reason Clint Eastwood made Richard Jewell “couldn’t be more obvious: to demonize the same forces Donald Trump is now in the business of demonizing.
“Richard Jewell is a drama that piggybacks on Trump’s demagoguery. The movie says that the mainstream media can’t be trusted, and that even the government’s top law enforcement agency will railroad you. And Jewell himself is the pudgy-soul-of-the-heartland, ordinary American white-guy yokel who gets used and abused by these corrupt institutions, with no one to look out for him.
“The movie treats him as a symbolic Trump supporter. Yet Eastwood, pretending to be a crusader for justice, would never come close to applying the same standard of truth and honor to the institutions that defend Donald Trump.
“The chief lesson of the Jewell saga should be that rumor, innuendo, and accusation without evidence are egregious — and that what matters, more than anything, is the truth.
Gleiberman wonders “how does [Eastwood] feel about Trump’s daily distortions of the truth? Trump’s lies about his own misbehavior? The baseless accusations he hurls at others? Should the Atlanta Journal-Constitution be vilified for its honest mistakes in judgment during the Jewell case, and Trump — or his chief propaganda organ, Fox News — be given a free ride? Why isn’t noble, straight-as-an-oak-tree Clint Eastwood making a movie about that?”