Having already won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, and received both Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations as well as six Oscar nominations (Best Motion Picture, Best Supporting Actor – Mark Ruffolo, Best Supporting Actress – Rachel McAdams, Best Directing, Best Screenplay and Best Editing) Spotlight was definitely a film that needed to be watched!
The story follows real life events that took place when the Boston Globe’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delved into allegations of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Their year-long investigation uncovered a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.
Spotlight includes a stellar cast including Mark Ruffolo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, John Slattery (in a role very familiar to his Roger Sterling in Mad Men) and Stanley Tucci – to name but a few! All the actors give brilliant performances and work perfectly alongside each other. Mark and Rachel in particular definitely deserve their Oscar nominations as they lead some of the more powerful scenes. Though it doesn’t seem possible given the nature of the storyline, there are a few funny moments between the various characters, nothing that takes away from the seriousness of the subject matter but enough to stop the whole film from being too heavy-going.
This storyline is something which should be approached delicately and indeed Spotlight does, the idea isn’t to show this team of journalists out to attack the Church but instead we are taken with them as they slowly start to uncover the truth and we are shown their various feelings that this truth brings to them as individuals. Yes, the film does show the Church in an unfavourable light, from the many different accounts of child abuse that took place, to the scene in which a former Priest is questioned over his molestations and his reply was that he did abuse children but that he “gained no pleasure from it” so therefore doesn’t see any harm in his actions. You will definitely come away from this film shocked and appalled towards the actions of the Church as well as the members of law that helped to cover up what was happening, but it is definitely something that we all need to be aware of. It is thanks to the actions of the real “Spotlight” team that other cases around the world were brought to light. At the end of the film we are shown a list of places in which child abuse occurred within the Catholic Church and this list is sadly far too long.
Overall Spotlight is a very powerful film, you will definitely be moved and will come away with lots of thoughts and questions running through your mind. Hopefully it will receive the Oscar recognition it deserves. A definite must see!