“Spotlight,” tells the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered widespread sex abuse in the Catholic Church.
Scintillating writing and passionate performances make this film a sure-fire Oscar nomination.
A team of investigative reporters, lead by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) — in the Spotlight segment of The Globe — are told to look into molestation accusations against a priest. Set in a very Catholic part of Boston, the team fights the powerful Catholic Church to expose the truth.
“Spotlight” is intense and powerfully written. It hits you in the core of your emotional being. You are right there with — in the basement pouring over archived articles, sifting through books and searching for clues.
You can feel their struggle with their own religious beliefs, many of them from this South Boston Catholic neighborhood. Their ideals, values, and beliefs are shaken beyond repair, but they continue to work and somehow find a peaceful balance.
With skilled and superior writing and directing by Tom McCarthy, the caliber of acting is at the same high level.
Keaton's Robinson is conflicted between commitment to his team and the pull of reporting to the administration. He’s complex.
Liev Schreiber plays Marty Baron, the new General Manager of the paper.
There are no weak performances, but there are two that are truly remarkable. Mark Ruffalo becomes Mike Rezendes in his gut-wrenching portrayal of a dedicated, young reporter who has his eyes opened to something he’d rather not see. He’s eloquent and passionate in his revelations.
Stanley Tucci is equally striking as the frustrated yet ultimately caring lawyer.
“Spotlight” finds a way to tell a true story with deft writing and directing as well as outstanding performances.
The camera brings us into the story so that we react to the discoveries just as the actors do. Lighting and editing as well as a wardrobe of an era not too far gone, all create a film that does more than tell a great story; it brings it to life.
Although it’s a painful subject to (re)visit, it shouldn't be pushed aside. It’s more than a movie, it’s life real life. Movies that can make you feel with such powerful intensity are far and few between and although the feelings are heartbreaking and sickening at times, they are real.
The truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but “Spotlight” reminds us that we can’t turn a blind eye.
Stay for the very end of the film as after the credits roll, the statistics shining brightly on the screen will have a lasting effect.