Movie Review – “Spotlight”

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An enthralling drama.

“Spotlight” is a movie that is humble and truthful in it’s telling of it’s story. There is no flair to the movie, just factual storytelling. And yet, it’s better than other Oscar-nominated films whose style and flair are all but calling for an Oscar.

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(sorry, Leo)

The best part of the movie is the humility, not only in the filmmaking but in the story itself.

A disturbing, yet necessary subject

“Spotlight” tells a story of a group of investigative journalists from The Boston Globe, The Spotlight Team, who researched and told the story of the Boton Parish abuse scandal. Dozens of Catholic priests molested/raped hundreds, even thousands of young children, and the church knowingly covered it up.

The journalists in the movie are endlessly determined, as the church puts roadblock after roadblock in the way of the truth being revealed. In the end, the journalists get just what they need, and they end up publishing close to 700 stories on the abuse scandal.

The acting is subtle and superb.

The movie boasts and ensemble cast, featuring the likes of Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo, the latter two of which have been nominated for supporting acting Oscars.

No single character is shown as a hero, and the film shows how this kind of journalism is really a team effort. They all worked together to accomplish a common goal, and they recognize that telling the story of the victims is more important than personal gain.

Each actor is assured in their performances, and Ruffalo got to showcase his character acting skills. The one quibble I have is with Jamey Sheridan’s performance. He played the man who was the paper’s main source form inside the church, and his character was a vital one. Yet, his performance was so over-the-top and….just bad; it broke my suspension of disbelief numerous times and made a few very important scenes distracting.

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Compared with the enormity and complexity of the film, though, it was a very minor setback.

Each member of the ensemble does their part in the world of the film and outside of it.

Humble filmmaking.

As I said before, the filmmaking is humble. Their is no impressive cinematography, stylish editing, or engrossing score. Yet, the film tells it’s story so graciously that it makes for one of the best films nominated this year. It goes to show that as long a you have a vital story to tell, you will have a great film. The newspaper story in 2002 gave the victims more recognition and pointed out iniquities in the Catholic Church that needed to be exposed, and hopefully this film raises awareness even more.

See it.

You will be enveloped in its intriguing narrative, and you will come out with a higher regard for not only journalists and their desire to tell a story, but the victims who were willing to share.

 

 

 

 

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