Released 2015 (Italy)
American & Canadian, in English
Director - Tom McCarthy
Stars - Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber
A dramatized look at the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s pedophile priest scandal. Keaton stars as Walter “Robby” Robinson; Ruffalo as Mike Rezendes; and McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer, all members of the “Spotlight” team, which broke the story, and Schreiber co-stars as Marty Baron, the Globe’s editor.
Lots of blue language; frank discussions of child molestation.
Minor quibble: length (slightly too long).
Serious complaint: I didn’t like how it tried to drum up intrigue by playing the “which person ignored this story years ago” game & casting shade on one character in particular. It was unnecessary & felt cheap.
Man, every single actor, from the most minor to the top billed, knocked this right out of the park. Really phenomenal. My favorites were Keaton, Ruffalo, and Stanley Tucci (as Mitchell Garabedian, lawyer to several of the victims).
I liked how it explored the varying ways in which a scandal like this affects a community. While it's about how it affected the victims psychologically, emotionally, and physically, it’s also about how it affected their faith, and the faith of others connected to the scandal (such as the reporters). I’m not religious myself, but I understand how important faith is to many people. The scenes of people struggling with this issue touched me on a deep emotional level.
I’m clinging to the hope that it’s accurate about the reporters, because it’s restored some of my faith in investigative journalism.
Wow, this was an excellent year for Best Picture nominees. I’ve seen 6 of the 8 and thought 5 of those were great (was not a big fan of “The Revenant”). I particularly would’ve been happy if “Brooklyn” or “The Big Short” had won, but I see why “Spotlight” did. It was really well done. It’s not an easy topic. I have to admit that I was dreading this viewing. If it hadn’t won Best Picture, I probably never would have seen it. But I’m glad that it did, because I would have missed out on an incredibly important story and a lot of really fine acting. If you’re hesitant, know that you should watch this film. In the end, I think the only thing you’ll be disappointed in is the Catholic Church.
I give it 4.5 stars.
Note: The Best Picture Master List has been updated to include this movie. It comes in at #9.