Spotlight (2015) ★★★★★

Spotlight diverts from the conventional route in this serious, but enthralling crime drama. 

Based on a true story, Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, consisting of Robby Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James), dig deep to solve the shocking scandal of child molestation allegations within the Catholic church in 2001, spanning as far back as the 1970’s.

Showcasing the importance of journalism during a tragedy, Spotlight capably deals with what most would consider a difficult subject matter. Not only are children victimized, the whole scandal is being covered up and it’s the Catholic church that’s behind it all. It’s truly difficult to pin down which part of the film is the most overwhelming – whether it’s due to being close to tears knowing the pain the victims have experienced, physically and mentally; or from simply being relieved that this ugly truth has been brought to light. And as the impact of the investigation continues to expand, the film soars into unforgettable territory, and will linger in your mind for a long time afterwards. The style of the film, which consists mostly of serious dialogue, is elegantly executed with stellar performances from Keaton, Tucci, Ruffalo, McAdams and Schreiber. Each journalist has a distinct personality of which you come to support, as well as a way in which they handle certain material, through their mannerisms, and their speech patterns. Spotlight is a slow-burner, but if this story was rushed over, it wouldn’t be half as effective as its brilliant outcome. Instead, it would have been pushed to one side and forgotten about amongst the long line of poorly executed crime dramas that had genuine potential.

With a documentary-feel to it, Spotlight doesn’t feel artificial in the slightest. A heart-breaking film, based on a true story. Director, Tom McCarthy, takes a more subtle approach with the direction. Forget flashy directorial choices, McCarthy lets the narrative unfold with a tension alone. A film which is certain to infuriate; a real eye-opener.

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8 thoughts on “Spotlight (2015) ★★★★★

  1. Great work! I also really enjoyed this one – it’s a story that’s so unsettling simply because it actually happened. Do you think it would have made your top 10 of last year if you had seen it earlier?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Top Twenty: Best Films of 2015 | The Aspiring Film Critic!

  3. I’m curious to know if you think this film would have won the top honour in the Oscars if it were not for the concerns over the global epidemic of child abuse revelations in the Catholic church?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good question. I think, given the subject, it definitely earned its place. Though, if this style of filmmaking was adopted to a piece without such a controversial/strong message, it may not have worked at all, and would have been quite bland. A few people I know couldn’t get into the film, as they felt it was quite drawn out. It was, but that’s the beauty of a slow burner!Thanks for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a great film; but equally I am convinced that the Academy voted with the politics of the moment as a dominant consideration. They are after all only human. If you put that aside, this film did not merit the Oscar and this casts a shadow over the whole process.

    Liked by 1 person

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