“They knew and they let it happen! It could’ve been you, it could’ve been me, it could’ve been any of us”
If I were to sum up Spotlight in one sentence, it would be just that. Spotlight tells the true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation into the abuse within the Catholic church. Directed by award-winning Tom McCarthy, Spotlight is a spine-chilling, emotional and well-written investigative dramatic piece which saw the biggest newspaper in the US break a story nobody had told before.
How did they get it so right? Dealing with such a sensitive topic turned into a film that told the story perfectly from the very beginning, showing just how important investigative journalism is. The real investigative team who covered the case in 2002 published more than 500 articles against Catholic priests and the church cover-ups, not knowing how wide-spread this issue was.
With a cast including Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber, you don’t need to be told their acting would be phenomenal. However, they go above and beyond expectations and deliver riveting performances. Not only is the investigation award winning, so too is the film itself, receiving several awards including Best Original Screenplay and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Mark Ruffalo plays editor and reporter, Mike Rezendes whilst Michael Keaton plays Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson, who oversees the final decisions. As with any delicate subject, there will be people disagreeing and we see this as they both argue to the point Rezendes yells in the office, upset at the fact people knew about it and did nothing. The passion about this case and justice for the victims is shown throughout.
Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James both play the role of researcher and reporter, Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll. Stanley Tucci who plays Mitchell Garabedian does well to stay guarded, without giving much away but does however reluctantly hand out information, despite being told the church is watching him. The film is realistic and shows that journalism isn’t just about writing an article. It’s everything from interviewing people, being doubted, researching for months and then finally, writing the article carefully to get your story across. The soft, piano music adds an element of emotion for the viewers, particularly when we hear the stories of the victims.
This film was always going to be controversial, upsetting and hard-hitting but from Schreiber to McAdams, they portrayed the case so well. The fact that almost 600 articles were released goes to show what a phenomenal job the real investigative journalists themselves did.
It became even more emotional when the team return to work after publishing the article, only to discover everyone in the Spotlight office taking calls from victims ready to tell their stories.
Ending the film with the word “Spotlight” was poignant as the phone was picked up. The hard-hitting reality of the true story really kicked in when all the cities were listed where abuse had taken place. The story of the survivors gave the film another emotional aspect, simply because they were, survivors. This film proves that investigative journalism needs to stay alive, pertinent and when they tell a story, they must tell it just as well as they did in 2001.
This was tweet sent to me by Mike Rezendes. This article is new and updated so the link to my review in that specific tweet will now take you to the old version. But nevertheless, I am still inspired by them and this film. Check out their film here.
Thank you. Good journalism is the best insurance for any democracy. https://t.co/RrMZ5oyynn
— Michael Rezendes (@MikeRezendes) November 19, 2016