Film Review: Spotlight

| January 30, 2016

All Images: Open Road Films

Words by Jo McTavish

Director: Tom McCarthy
Screenplay: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and John Slattery.
Synopsis: 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.

THIS year Michael Keaton returns in another remarkable story, that makes you think twice and read between the lines…

Spotlight is the films on everybody’s minds right now. It is piece of cinema that remarkably demonstrates how powerful the motion of film can be. Director Tom McCarthy whose previous work includes The Station Agent (2003) and The Visitor (2007), brings the story of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, who in 2003 won the Pulitzer Prize for their efforts uncovering the biggest cover-ups in modern history. It was their work, that revealed the secret  abuse from the Catholic Church, that involved the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal and government establishment.

I’ll admit this was no light story, it was a chilling mystery that had you engaged from the second act onwards as the disgusting secrets hidden within the world’s most powerful institution came to light. “McCarthy’ managed to uphold your attention, through the brilliant dialogue, supporting evidence and historic events that all impacted the story. Though the real core of it all, was the exceptional work of the reporters, and how their dedication to something so important really made an impact.

The crux of it all was the dynamic within the Spotlight team. Micahel Keaton from last year’s Birdman (2015), lead the reporters as Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson, whose determination and act of redemption was perfectly displayed, showing that last year’s come-back performance was no fluke. “Keaton’ produced a strong character that showed what true leadership stands for.

Rachel McAdams who is nominated for an Oscar for actress in a supporting role, was another highlight of the film as Sacha Pfeiffer. Her part, played a little softer compared to the others, displaying a rather gentle approach but still demanding the truth. Although I loved her performance, I personally believe she won’t win this category, as she faces Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Rooney Mara (Carol), to name a few.

Another Oscar nomination for an actor in a supporting role, is Mark Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes. I loved his character here, and thought out of this ensemble he was the strongest. His relationship with several victims, the court and Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), created a very interesting arc in the story as did his aggressive dedication to exposing the truth.

As for the rest of the cast, Live Schreiber playing the new editor Marty Baron and John Slattery playing Ben Bradlee Jr. where both excellent in their parts, contributing to this compelling story.

The cast aside, this is a film that was not about the performances but more about telling a powerful and important story, that shows how relevant journalism is and how it can be used to expose certain truths that will make a difference. The child sex and abuse cases were and continue to be a disgusting act, that needs to stop and it seems a movie like this, can only help more victims.

So for those of faith, the film does not say “The Catholic Church” is evil, it purely exposes the systematic corruption the institution has upheld for years. Faith does not belong to any power but yourself, so when you shine a Spotlight on the powers like those involved, you truly know where you stand. That is why this is a must see film for everyone who seeks truth and justice.

MM 9/10

To celebrate the release of Spotlight, Moustache and Entertainment One have 5 double passes to giveaway. For more information click here.

Official poster:

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Category: FEATURED, FILM, Uncategorized

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