Quick Hit: Compelling, dramatic, and true – I need to say nothing else for this.
Lots of films have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Some were incredibly deserving (The Departed, Gladiator, American Beauty), and some may have been the product of the timing (The Return of the King while admittedly great was just to pay back all the previous LOTR movies). Sometimes those winners don’t age as well, and sometimes they turn into classics that are returned to by future generations.
I think that eventually Spotlight will turn into one of those films. I don’t necessary think that it was the best picture of 2015, but it was an amazing film. Allow me to tell you why I think so.
that leads to a sickening story of cover-ups as well as hidden practices of the church.
One of the best things about Spotlight is its cast. It gives all of its characters plenty of moments, but almost none of them outshine the others. In a cast that boasts the combined talents of Liev Schreiber (playing a very straight faced editor), Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams, it’s a true testament that none of them come away much higher. The two that come close are Keaton (as head of Spotlight Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson) and Mark Ruffalo as the reporter with the final by-line Mike Rezendes. I especially enjoyed Keaton’s performance, despite the fact that Ruffalo was the one with the Best Actor nomination. His role becomes so nuanced and intelligent as the movie goes that you can’t help but be impressed. And, as previously stated: Stanley Tucci shines as usual as a frenzied lawyer working on giving justice to the multiple victims.
Spotlight is nothing short of compelling. I touched on the cast already, but there are some technical aspects that make it so as well. For instance, the camerawork in a movie like this could be boring and straightforward. But director Tom McCarthy using the camera to add pace and meaning to an already meaningful movie. The camera work is quick with its shifts and angles, and I found myself pushed forward on my couch despite nothing tremendously exciting happening on screen. It’s these moments where your stomach drops as you think about that this actually happened that remind you how good this movie is at telling its story.
And what a story it is! One of the things I loved about Spotlight is how it consistently keeps the finger pointed at everyone. They don’t blame the survivors, or the church, or the media, or anyone explicitly. Instead, the blame keeps moving. Several characters state things like, “Where were you then?” “Why didn’t you tell this story years ago?” and the answers are… well, they aren’t answers. This leads to the final credits, which lists alphabetically where all the places that the scandal follow-ups led the Spotlight team to. Your stomach drops and you feel a severe discomfort when you think about all the things that this movie presents and remember they are true.
What else could you really ask for out of a film? I give Spotlight an A+.
Check out IMDB for more on this film.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"