Spotlight

A true story about the members of special research division “Spotlight” of the Boston Glob who dedicate their time to discover the truth and cover up of molestation within the catholic church.


Writers: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Director:  Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Run time/Rating:  128 Minutes/ R
Popcorn Score:  Large Popcorn with Butter

It is possible that there will never again be new subject matter for a hard-nosed newspaper reporting film.  With the way the industry has gone due to online content being thrown up by anyone and everyone at a million words a minute, there will be less and less stories about the small crews of inked stained wretches in their dimly lit smoky basement offices scouring through old newspaper clippings in an effort to put together a well-researched, in depth journalistic piece.  If the future brings any more movies like “Zodiac”, “State of Play” or “All the President’s Men” I am sure it is going to have to pull from subject matter earlier than the 2010’s and beyond.  Fortunately, newspaper research teams were still around in 2002 to not only uncover an amazingly horrifying story in Boston about the Catholic churches molestation cover up, but also so that an amazing, classic drama could be made about the efforts that went into writing the piece.

After seeing 5 of the Best Picture nominations for the 2016 Academy Awards as well as – dozens (?) hundreds (?) of movies in 2015 I can still say that Spotlight is my favorite.  The brilliant way that the story unfolds similar to how the story is discovered by the principals in the film is so great.  It is screenwriting and execution at its finest.

The movie is star studded and each individual performance backs up all of the reasons why the members of this famous cast have each reached their respected statuses.  Most notably for me is the performance of Michael Rezendes played by Marc Ruffalo.  He has such tiny little mannerisms and behavioral traits that I image are mimicked to perfection but even if they were presented as a choice by Ruffalo to add development to the character they are still brilliant.  The other understated performance is Liev Schreiber as the new editor in town, a non-Catholic in Boston who holds ties only to newspaper reporting and allows him the vision and indifference to see this story out.  Rachel McAdams brings her A-game as well in a performance deserving of her first Academy Award nomination.

If Spolight is to be considered a “smaller” type of movie that is only true in its classic filmmaking style not at all it’s content. There are no explosions, huge sets or effects of any kind.  This relies on great story telling based on true events with real people acting as real humans would and have. With all of those simple yet effective techniques it also has all of the classic traits that frequently with the top prize and there is no other film that would get my vote for best picture of the year up to this point.

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