Hot Take: A riveting, clinical telling of the true story of the Boston Globe investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that uncovered a horrible cover up. The effortless and professional way the film handles the facts without an attempt to sensationalize the subject matter or manipulate the audience yet still packs a powerful emotional punch.
If Spotlight isn’t nominated for Best Picture, I’ll be shocked. That doesn’t mean it’s the best film of 2015. It isn’t. However, it has all of the elements of your typical Best Picture nominee. The subject is gripping and emotional. The ensemble cast (led by Michael Keaton) is phenomenal. Director Tom McCarthy has a pedigree. The film is primed for Oscar season.
What Spotlight does at it’s best is mimic the professionalism of the team of journalists who uncovered one of the biggest sexual abuse cover-ups in the Catholic church. It also causes the viewer to emotionally crack along with the journalists as the story becomes personalized to each of the writers. In the end, you’re left with an uneasy, disappointing and disturbing feeling. It’s great storytelling and it never colors outside the lines which keeps the viewer locked in to the reality of it all. A sad, terrible reality of the abuse of other’s faith and the power of the Catholic church.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Expert Casting
The cast of Spotlight from top to bottom delivers great performances. The best coming from Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci.
- It Pulls No Punches And Doesn’t Take Short Cuts
Occasionally, a film such as this will either soft pedal the subject or use manipulative imagery or sensationalism to incense the audience. McCarthy expertly avoids these tactics which produces an even more powerful emotional response because it’s so raw.
- Magnetic Storytelling
Fairly quickly, you’ll be hooked by Spotlight and even at 2 hours and 7 minutes, the topic flies by in what feels much shorter.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Score
The classic feel of the film is knocked a little off by the musical score. While the film’s events occurred around 2001, the score feels like it is from the 80s.