Plot – The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
Director – Tom McCarthy
Released – 2016
Taking it’s name from the investigative research unit at the Boston Globe, Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight sets the Catholic Church firmly in its sites as it delves deep into the decades of covering-up of abuse of hundreds of child victims by priests in the city and the team of jornalists that finally exposed these heinous crimes to the world.
Based on the true events, the film take a long and extensive process of showing how the spotlight team discovered and reported the facts, a team that later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts giving a voice to the victims. The first thing to say about this film is just how wonderful the acting is, made up by one of the strongest ensembles I’ve seen outside of Marvel or DC, including Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci each of which give excellent and emotion filled performances, however, the standout for me is Micheal Keaton in his nuanced turn as Walter Robinson. He is the rock that the other characters are able to work around his straightforward portrayal and provide the film with the strong emotions that the subject matter deserves.
When it comes to the direction, Tom McCarthy masterfully crafts a dialough heavy narrative that with very little action produces an engrossing character-driven movie. With multiple shots of Catholic chuches and religion icongraphy to show just intrigated the church is in this city, a constant haunting reminder to the victims, overshadowing their homes, schools and playgrounds.
Now the film does at times feel a little restrained, shying away from lurid details relating to the abuse, which I feel was done to prevent the film from becoming to dramatic, instead taking a clinical remote approach and although it lets the moviegoer learn about the cases and the evidence as its revealed to the journalists, I feel that they could have gone further and given the weight of what the journalists were trying to do and the pain of having hold off publication until they had enough all the more powerful, knowing full well that the longer they take the more abuse is likely to occur.
It’s no wonder that Spotlight won the Oscar for best picture, it’s a powerful and emotion-filled movie that succeeds at exposing some of the disgusting things that not only the Catholic church thought they could get away with but also the people that enabled it to happen, including the press and police.
If you liked: All the Kings Men, Night Hunter, The Post