Certain films released through the festival circuit each year seemed destined to have accolades bestowed on them during movie awards season. Sorry to bury the lead, but one of the films in 2015 that falls into this category is Spotlight directed by Tom McCarthy. Spotlight delves into Pulitzer Prize Winning investigative articles by the Boston Globe in 2002 that uncovered the massive sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. The subject matter screams of Oscar bait.
Spotlight delves into the investigation side of journalism with the Globe reporters connecting the dots even when everyone (including their own coworkers) are telling them to leave it alone. Thankfully for the victims and future victims, the crew kept their noses to the grindstone deciding to make a difference with their work that ended up unraveling the misdeeds of The Catholic Church and their associates who cared more about hiding the truth rather than protecting the high risk youths who were the prey of these monsters.
For a film that consists of interviews, phone calls and meetings with lawyers, Spotlight keeps you on the edge of your seat and engaged as the team begins to link the pieces of this unscrupulous puzzle created by powerful religious figures. Don’t expect explosions or on foot chases through dark alleys running down a source. Spotlight deals with real life situations that are way more compelling than fictitious action scenarios trying to make journalism something it’s not.
Spotlight‘s stellar ensemble cast includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci. Each actor named could have a case for being nominated for an Oscar, because of their exceptional work in Spotlight. The entire cast shines in their roles and make each other better. If there were two leads in Spotlight, it would be Keaton and Ruffalo who play members of the Globe’s specialized reporting department (Spotlight) that undertook the massive investigation that was met with many roadblocks both legal and political.
For those who were bummed when Keaton didn’t bring home the Oscar last year for Birdman, Spotlight continues the Keaton comeback and a Supporting Actor nomination is most likely in his future after his fine performance as the leader of the team Robby Robinson. It again won’t be an easy road to Oscar for Keaton though. He will have stiff competition in the Supporting Actor category from his costar Mark Ruffalo who plays Mike Rezendes. A tenacious reporter that will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of the scandal. Ruffalo is the emotional core of Spotlight and deserves all the praise he’s receiving for his work in this film.
In today’s media where the focus is on no talent reality stars and their egotistical lifestyles, Spotlight gives the audience a past glimpse of real reporting that can change the world we live in. The process of uncovering the truth can be tedious and frustrating for our players involved, but the journey in Spotlight makes for a riveting examination of life in the newsroom and the stories they uncover.
Overall, I give Spotlight 3.5 out of 4 stars.