Spotlight: A review

The cast of Spotlight L-R: Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery and Brian D’Arcy James

Craft fanatics, do not be confused. This is the movie I’m reviewing, not the fabric megastore where I used to spend all my money.

In fact, the title is the only thing about this movie that is not brilliant. Spotlight. What does it mean? Does it conjure up any intrigue? Nope.

But the movie? Let’s talk about that. Set in 2001 in Boston, USA, this film focuses on a small team of investigative journalists that is housed in a dingy basement. The crew is made up of an editor and three reporters that scout around for leads and spend months, if not years, delving into a story.

Not much is happening for them when new Editor-in-Chief Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber) shows up and asks them to look into a priest who has been charged with child sex offences.

What transpires from here is an investigation that runs all the way up to Boston’s Cardinal and incorporates the testimonies of several victims, expert advice from a specialist psychotherapist and interviews with defence and prosecution lawyers.

If you liked Erin Brokovich, Syriana or The Constant Gardener, you will enjoy this, despite the disturbing subject matter.

It’s a slow burning story but the performances given by the cast, including Stanley Tucci who plays Armenian lawyer Mitchell Garabedian and Mark Ruffalo who plays lead investigator Michael Rezendes, are enough to give this film real Oscar credibility.

Based on a true – and extremely worthy – story, it’s the one film with Oscar hype that has a real social conscience. While I have always disagreed with the ‘worthy’ films beating the truly great films, this is one of the rare instances where the two spheres meet.

What’s more, it subtly addresses the issue facing the media at the moment. With budgets crumbling and investigative journalism teams (and pages) shrinking, there is a real risk that stories like this won’t be told and the perpetrators – numbering in their thousands, with victims numbering in the tens of thousands – won’t be told.




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