By: Daniel Chadwick-Shubat
There are a lot of well-crafted movies out there. There are also a lot of captivating stories to be seen. Not often do you get a movie that can be defined as both. Spotlight, however, is a tremendous movie that incorporates both and does it excellently with a fantastic ensemble, fluid writing and sure directing. It’s hard to believe that this movie was directed by the man who made The Cobbler. After Spotlight’s fantastic two wins at the Oscar I thought it was important to take a look back at this inspiring film.
Spotlight is the true story of the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team who investigated the Catholic Church and their covering up of the pedophilia running rampant all across Boston and the world. This team spent months researching this problem and then published their evidence throughout 2002 with over 600 articles citing their research.
First off I think it’s important to stress the seriousness of this topic and how many people have ignored it for many years. This movie might not even change someone’s perception of the Catholic church. This institution is more powerful than many small countries and has the power to really do anything they want.
But it’s also important to state that it’s the institution that is at fault here not the people who attend Church. Spotlight places emphasis on this fact plenty of times and for anyone who sees it they have to understand this going into the movie to understand the baffling situation that has been happening and continues to happen in the Catholic Church. The movie separates faith from the institution, and, therefore, doesn’t place blame on God or the people who attend the Catholic Church. Instead, it places the blame on the men who have committed these heinous crimes and the ones who had the audacity to cover them up.
First and foremost this movie is about great journalists who searched for the truth and made sure they had all the facts, covering everything from the top to the bottom until they published their findings. It’s a fine tuned journalistic piece and is perfectly executed by director/writer Thomas McCarthy and writer Josh Singer (who co-wrote TV dialogue king The West Wing). There’s no sensationalizing of the topic and this lets the audience watch an honest, non-biased movie, which is important in this case.
As mentioned before Spotlight is an ensemble piece and the entire cast portrays their characters with a rawness rarely seen in cinema. Michael Keaton shines brightly in every scene he’s in as Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight team, someone who quietly pushes his team to find all the facts and works hard until the day their findings are published. Keaton was the perfect casting for this character and it was surprising not to see him pick up an Oscar nomination. Mark Ruffalo also surprises as Michael Rezendes who’s the only one who can match Stanley Tucci’s intensity in the movie. Ruffalo is intense throughout the film and his passionate performance only adds to his credibility as a great dramatic actor.
Last but not least the performances of McAdams, Schreiber, Slattery, d’Arcy James and Sheridan are all on point, with each adding their own unique performance to the fantastic ensemble piece.
Spotlight sheds a light on one of the most despicable acts in modern history. Something that has been criminally under-reported on in the popular media. Only because of these fine men and women did the public start realizing the gravity of what was happening in the U.S. and the world.
The movie once again opens up the subject of abuse in the Catholic Church and confronts members of the Vatican with the honest and brutal truth. With many high members of the Vatican (including the Pope) not showing any action toward change, maybe this movie will push the public to demand a reform.
It doesn’t hurt that Spotlight is a polished, straight-to-the-point movie that features a brilliant script and a fantastic cast who portray their characters to perfection. It’s really hard to find any fault in Spotlight, with the 128 minute running time passing by in no time. The only fault I could find was that it wasn’t long enough for my taste. Spotlight is a fine investigative journalist movie that can be named in the presence of the all time greats Zodiac and All the President’s Men.
What did you think of Spotlight? Let us know in the comments below…
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