Spotlight

Spotlight_(film)_poster

It’s that time again, more Award-baiting films in the run up to the Oscars. Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight is one of the favourites for the win, but will it light up my life?

In 2001 Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) is hired as the new editor of The Boston Globe. One of his first moves is to have the investigation team Spotlight (Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d’Arcy James) look into child abuse cases carried out by a priest which the church did nothing to prevent. As the Spotlight team look further into it they realise that the abuse is much more widespread and serious than they ever imagine.

Given the heavy subject matter it would have been easy for this film to have been sentimental and cliched. However Spotlight is noticable for it’s restraint. Thats not to say there isn’t the occassional impassioned speech but Spotlight is a grown up movie, more intent on telling the story and trusting it’s audience doesn’t have to have any heavy handedness or clichéd baddies to be told THIS IS BAD.

As the investigation becomes bigger the film doesn’t shy away from the fact it’s not just the church that been covering things up. Many others were either actively involved in the cover up or dismissed earlier claims for different reasons, and the Boston Globe itself is also put under scrutiny for not investigating earlier. As Stanley Tucci’s lawyer Mitchell states “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.” That it took an outsider to push them into investigating is also a sobering thought for the protagonists.

It would also have been easy for it’s cast to give overwrought and over the top performances, Ruffalo’s journalist Michael most particularly given the character’s quirks, but they trust in the script and the story. It is so strong they don’t have to live in heightened emotions. The film also largely stays away from the characters’ personal lives and concentrating on the meat of the story.

It may not be as epic in scale as The Revenant however I think Spotlight will stay with me longer and wish it well on Oscar night.

Rating 4/5 – a thought provoking and sobering look into investigative journalism at it’s best

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Spotlight

  1. Good review Lauren. Perhaps my favorite movie of the past year by far.

  2. Cracking review Lauren, reading your thoughts on this film I believe we’re on the same page about this film. For me I was just surprised by how big in scope these events were and the levels of conspiracy surrounding the priests, church, and legal system as well. It made me so frustrated and appauled that people actually did this in real life, and after the film ended I felt so dirty. This definitely made me feel uncomfortable, but it was passionate and insightful, and featured such great performances from the all of the main cast members especially Ruffalo and Tucci.

    • I know it’s scary to think that these kind of things go on and so many people in authority just let it happen. I forgot to mention how great Stanley Tucci was, as per usual, his character was really interesting too.

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