When I go to the movies, I wish to have fun most of the time. But I also appreciate seeing a serious topic made into an outstanding movie.
I left the theater yesterday (Jan. 18) after seeing “Spotlight” thinking I had seen the film equivalent of a walk-off home run in baseball.
“Spotlight” is based on the true story of how the Boston Globe newspaper took on successfully one of the most powerful institutions in the state of Massachusetts and Boston — the Roman Catholic Church. The paper was made aware of sexual abuse by priests in Massachusetts and discovered a subsequent coverup by the Boston Archdiocese.
Perhaps part of the reason I like the movie so much is that having worked at a newspaper, I think I appreciate how newspapers can do investigative pieces such as this, if they are allowed to, better than other types of media will ever be able to.
Take away my interest in the journalistic side of “Spotlight”, I simply find the movie excellent filmmaking. Directed by Tom McCarthy and co-written by McCarthy and Josh Singer, I appreciate their efforts in telling of a story of people who were trying to bring a great evil to the forefront after it was hidden and trying to clear the hurdles put up by people who didn’t want to believe it or who believed it and didn’t want to deal with it.
I also appreciate how “Spotlight” treats reporters and editors. Sometimes, not all the time, I’ve seen portrayals, especially in television, of journalists who will stop at nothing to get a story and don’t seem 100 percent human.
The reporters and editors in “Spotlight” are human and are dealing with the pressure of trying to get out the story, get it right and their reaction to uncovering these atrocities.
And the Globe editors and reporters don’t come off as perfect in the film as they deal with why they didn’t do anything with this story when they knew of abuse allegations years earlier.
“Spotlight” is an ensemble film, so I was happy to see that Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams receive Oscar nominations for best supporting actor and actress respectively in their roles as reporters for the Spotlight department which was the Globe’s investigative group. Giving equally excellent performances are Michael Keaton, John Slattery and Liev Schreiber as editors most involved with the story along with Brian d’Arcy James as another Spotlight reporter and Stanley Tucci as a lawyer who helps Ruffalo progress on the story.
The movie is also nominated for best picture, best director, best film editing and best original screenplay. I consider it the best film dealing with a societal issue to come out in recent years.
RATING — **** stars
UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .