Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Written by: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
Rating: R Running Time: 2 hr. 8 min
For Spotlight to work, it had to get a lot of things right. It had to accurately and cleverly document the highlights in a hugely complicated and far-reaching scandal, while also honoring the victims and not lionizing the Boston Globe reporters. Spotlight does all that, and a lot more.
This film perfectly balances its coverage of the pedophile priest scandal, while also acknowledging the impact it had on the church’s many pious followers. It celebrates investigative journalism, while rightly bemoaning its demise in the face of the growing popularity of the internet. Cherishing patient thoughtful factual information delivery, instead of the hyperbolic nonsense we’re exposed to today. News reporting in 140 characters or less. Swayed by the rich and powerful to support a political ideology, and shape public opinion.
What writers Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer have done is take an important story, and present it in a way that trusts the audience’s intelligence. Delivering the pertinent facts, without resorting to a lot of overblown histrionics. Simultaneously respecting this true life story, and presenting it in a very authentic way.
The cast is superb in Spotlight, but the standout performance comes from Mark Ruffalo as the twitchy high-energy reporter, Mike Rezendes. As representative of the disappointment felt by many Catholics about this scandal, Ruffalo’s performance adds just the right amount of righteous fury to properly expose a corrupt system that allowed its clergy to sexually abuse children.
This is extremely well written and acted. Expect a dialog heavy film, and a lot of details to keep track of. This film is rated R for language and verbal descriptions of sexual abuse.
This isn’t a hugely visual experience, so a theater visit isn’t required. A HD rental on a TV, laptop or tablet will service this film well enough. I expect this film will get some award attention early 2016, so if you follow and watch the Golden Globes or the Oscars, you might want to find a theater screening this film.
Mike Rezendes vents his frustration as Spotlight editor Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson (Michael Keaton) delays putting the story in the paper.