“Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we spend most of our time stumbling around the dark. Suddenly, a light gets turned on and there’s a fair share of blame to go around. I can’t speak to what happened before I arrived, but all of you have done some very good reporting here. Reporting that I believe is going to have an immediate and considerable impact on our readers. For me, this kind of story is why we do this.”
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber
Synopsis: A group of journalists at the Boston Globe newspaper work to uncover years of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The extent of what they discover reaches beyond even their deepest fears.
Here are just a few of the usually mundane things that Spotlight manages to make wholly compelling:
- Sorting through newspaper clippings.
- Excel spreadsheets.
- Legal discussions.
- Mark Ruffalo.
…OK, that last one’s unfair. Mark Ruffalo is always compelling, but here he’s even more compelling than usual as one part of the The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, a group of journalists tasked with uncovering the dark, terrible secrets of the Catholic Church. His performance is quite excellent, and impressively charged with emotion. He’s not on his own though in that respect; Liev Schreiber brings a calm, authoritative confidence to his role as the newspaper’s new editor, whilst Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Brian d’Arcy James all express the strain that their work puts on them beautifully, with both subtlety and sensitivity.
Because it is undoubtedly a sensitive subject matter that the film tackles. An extraordinary story, and one which feels absolutely essential in its telling. That Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s script manages to tell the real life story with heft and weight, without becoming too grim to bear is remarkable. It’s shocking, gripping, tense, emotional, oftentimes uncomfortable viewing, yet bittersweet in the small victories it allows its characters. You’ll gasp, you’ll cry, you’ll question the world. That’s the power of cinema at its best, and Spotlight certainly deserves to be recognised in that category.
Rating (out of 5):