Stars: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci.
Director: Tom McCarthy.
Spotlight tells the true tale of how a newspaper, The Boston Globe, discovered and revealed the huge scandal within the Catholic Archdiocese of child molestation and its subsequent cover up.
On the surface that doesn’t sound too cheerful does it? Well, it isn’t. Having said that, Spotlight celebrates the real spirit of the search for truth and the mutual respect and teamwork between the team of investigative reporters on the story.
Ordinarily Spotlight would choose their own stories to pursue but when new editor Marty Baron (Schreiber) takes over at The Globe he politely insists that the team takes on the story. His own religion Jewish, he feels that story needs to be told not least because the advent of the internet has seen sales of the newspaper fall. Walter Robinson (Keaton) agrees to take on the story on behalf of his team of mostly self-confessed lapsed Catholics. The first task lies with having the documents relating to events of years gone by unsealed in a court of law, meanwhile the team pull in their sources and set about pulling the story together but they aren’t ready for the scale on how deep the scandal goes or the basic numbers of possible priests to stand accused to the abuse to minors. This is encapsulated in Ruffalo’s performance as Mike Rezendes as he becomes increasingly incensed by the information he uncovers. The church itself are eager to try to bury the story and entertain their own ways to intimidate the newspaper and its team.
Friendship and colleague relationships become very strained as time goes on particularly when moments of realisation appear that the story was pretty much over looked when it was originally brought to light in the seventies.
It’s a very well put together film, the director just lets the events flow, allowing the ensemble cast to do their work. Keaton, Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci just about stand out but that’s credit to the supporting cast as they all contribute to how well the film is constructed. Yes the subject matter is dark but you have to admire the sheer determination to reveal the truth despite the cost and put right what went before. If I have one complaint it’s Rachel McAdams. I don’t understand what the thing with her is. She just seems a little wishy-washy for my tastes but to be fair she doesn’t do too badly here.
A compelling film that tackles its subject well.