Set in 2001, editor Marty Baron of The Boston Globe assigns a team of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Led by editor Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), reporters Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer interview victims and try to unseal sensitive documents.
The reporters make it their mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.
Jade Bowers (Guest Hooligan) – I find it difficult to separate this movie from its content. A movie can be good without a great storyline, and a story can be good without it being a good movie. What makes a good movie great is when these elements work together. Spotlight transcends this into art. A film that keeps the viewer transfixed for the full 2 hours and then still has them thinking and talking about it for hours even days later.
Spotlight follows the team of reporters that broke the story of the Catholic Church covering up pedophilia in the Archdiocese for many years. This story has become part of the cannon of perception of the Catholic Church since the article was printed in 2002. Without knowing about this article or the spotlight new team, I knew about the expose.
What is great about this movie is that all the elements work together cohesively to tell the story. There are no character flash backs or gratuitous back stories that have no bearing on the narrative. The characters are real, in the present (2001) and gripping. The writing sets the tone, even with the heavy dialogue, some great moments of ‘reporter humour’ that is accessible for the audience break the ice and the tongue-in-cheek sarcastic moments that comment on the Catholic Church and its “modus operandi” hit the nail on the head. The only criticism I have would be that the story is one-sided. The benefit of hind-sight and current trends in art and entertainment allows for a more rounded approach. I would have liked to see the other side of the coin, seen the Church as more human and the Cardinal as a rounder character.
The acting is phenomenal, with perfect pitch and style. The ensemble worked well together and every nomination was well deserved. I could even forget (while watching the movie) that Michael Keaton was Batman with a terrible raspy voice.
Every element of the movie was well thought out and contributed to the themes and narrative. Beautiful lighting and colour palette incorporated fluorescent feeling without the stark, hurt your eyes look. Great shots of Boston with looming cathedrals over the communities. Every moment of silence poignant, every use of music or sound-scape well planned. Even though you know the outcome of the story the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat like a thriller and still shocks you with the scope of the outcome. I would rate this movie a ‘commercial-art film’ with a gut wrenching story that makes you doubt your faith in the Catholic Institution. 8.5/ 10
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