Spotlight - 5 Stars
Riveting, emotional and frankly disturbing, Spotlight is one of strongest films this Oscar season.
SPOTLIGHT tells the gripping true story of a team of Boston Globe reporters who launch a fearless investigation into child abuse allegations against the Catholic Church. What they eventually uncover is a shocking citywide scandal; almost ninety priests guilty but never convicted, legal settlements done in private, and a systematic cover-up of the abuse by church leadership. Determined to leave no stone unturned in their hunt for the truth, their investigation soon threatens to bring down some of the city’s most powerful figures.
It was dangerous subject matter to tackle, both for the reporters in the 90s and the filmmakers now. The film beautifully details the battles these journalists had to overcome to report on this shocking story – it’s incredible how many people stood in their way. People don’t like to be confronted with this kind of information, especially information that shows organised religion in a bad light. One of the most confronting parts of the film comes right at the end where a list is shown detailing every city that has had a major scandal regarding molestation in the Catholic Church. That list goes on for three pages.
The performances in this film are stunning and it is easy to see why they won the best ensemble award at last night’s SAG awards. Michael Keaton, for the second year in a row delivers an incredible performance. Mark Ruffalo once again demonstrates his extraordinary versatility and is captivating. Brian d’Arcy James is the biggest surprise - giving a riveting performance. Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci are also incredible in their roles.
It is written and directed superbly, with a fantastic score from Howard Shore.
Overall I don’t know how well it will fair at the box office given its relevant, confronting and disturbing themes. However, this should not deter you from seeing this film, it is outstanding; it does create conversation and it does evoke an emotional response. This is one film that you really cannot afford to miss.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of eOne Entertainment