Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Spotlight (2015)


Biography | Drama | History


Tom McCarthy




Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d'Arcy James, Gene Amoroso, Jamey Sheridan, Billy Crudup, Maureen Keiller, Richard Jenkins, Paul Guilfoyle, Len Cariou, Neal Huff, Michael Cyril Creighton, Laurie Heineman


When the Boston Globe's tenacious "Spotlight" team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.


Inquiry films are quite a challenge because in the process of making one you have to combine complex facts and the story of those who lived that reality. You either can end up with a documentary-like film, or get lost. "Spotlight" does get lost. Kind of.

While it still is a solid drama, it lacks of that something that makes you wonder how the story will end even when you do know how the story will end. And this unfortunately is not the only problem.

Another one being the Catholic Church. It is unlikely that a team of journalists manages to dig in the darkest corners of the Church without the Church trying to actually do something. I suppose the Church would have opposed much stronger resistance considering how powerful we are told it is.

Also the film tells the story from the point of view of the victims and reporters and it portrays the perpetrators and their protectors in a negative way. Sure, there's nothing wrong with that, but at some point, one priest has the chance to explain the reason for his behavior. I'm not sure what is that supposed to prove. Just because something has happened to you, does that mean you are free to do the same thing to someone else? The priest doesn't show any regret yet the report is interested in listening to his explanation. I don't know, maybe I'm getting this wrong.

However, like I said before, it still is a good film. The pacing is quite slow but it serves to show better the struggle and long research conducted by the team of reporters in order to put under the spotlight those abuses that have been covered-up for years.

Tom McCarthy did an astounding job directing the film and writing the screenplay with Josh Singer. His storytelling lacks emotion but he clearly wanted to tell the story in a certain way, and he did it.

The acting is top-notch. Mark Ruffalo will never stop surprising me. He is fully engaged in the role of reporter Mike Rezendes and along with Michael Keaton, he pulls off the best performance in the film. Rachel McAdams also does a brilliant job - I'm sure I've already mentioned how glad I am she's doing serious stuff -, but she doesn't belong in the Best Actress category this year. Great performances also from Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber.

Overall the film is fine, but in my humble opinion I don't think it can compete with "The Revenant" or "Mad Max: Fury Road".

"If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them." - Mitchell Garabedian


  1. seems awesome, thanks for the review! definitely gonna check it out (:

    Life in Pastel

  2. Nice review! I liked this one a bit more than you did. I'm hoping it takes Best Picture.

  3. Excellent review and I do want to see this. The Church does have huge powers but they are now beginning to slip