“Spotlight”, the latest film from writer/director Tom MaCarthy (“Win Win”, “The Station Agent”) is sure to be a top contender at the Academy Awards. The film is based on the true story of the year-long investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team that uncovered the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse towards minors. The all-star cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci and everyone brings their A-Game.
In 2002, when Marty Baron (Schreiber) was brought on as the Boston Globe editor, he tasked the Spotlight team which includes Walter Robinson (Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams), and Matt Caroll (James) to investigate the largely ignored sexual abuse allegations towards the Catholic Church. Knowing the impact this story would not only have on the lives of their readers but also the world, the Spotlight team had to investigate quietly. As the team got further along in their investigation, they discovered that the cover-up reached much higher than they realized.
“Spotlight” is intense and easily one of the most intelligent films about journalism that I have ever seen. The film is also less about the Catholic Church and more about the reporters investigating their story. The details that go into this investigation, making sure they have all the facts is gripping. “Spotlight” never slows down, everything feels urgent and for a film of this nature, that is important. Ruffalo gives a stand-out performance as Rezendes and his mannerisms are captivating. Tucci who portrays the eccentric attorney Mitchell Garabedian is also terrific. The scenes between Tucci and Ruffalo were some of my favorites. I found every moment in “Spotlight” simply fascinating, including how much power the Catholic Church had. They seem more like a massive global corporation with a team of lawyers and politicians at their disposal. It is actually quite terrifying that a religious organization of any kind can have this much power.
With us now in the early stages of the holiday season, we are about to be bombarded with tons of new films at the multiplexes. Trust me when I tell you that “Spotlight” should not be missed.
By: Marc Ferman