I didn’t really have “Spotlight” on my movie radar until I saw that both Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams were nominated for their supporting roles. But I think it’s an important story to tell and a well-executed movie.
The film centers on the true story of The Boston Globe newspaper taking on the Catholic Church to reveal the systemic cover up of sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese.
It is an undeniably sensitive topic that shook not just the city of Boston but had international impact, a ripple effect throughout Catholic communities around the world. How the film unfolds the narrative is slowly and quietly, with no hysteria or melodrama. And in this way, it serves the verité of the story all the more. The costumes of the actors are simple and less than charming, forcing the noteworthy performances to stand alone. Somehow, this strengthens them.
The films builds momentum very slowly, emotionally luring the audience into an emotional grasp which you (like me), might feel yourself clinging to by the end. And watching how a legal and social transgression of this depth is uncovered by a newspaper team who are tied to this community is somehow more heart wrenching than I think it would have been to see it through the eyes of the police, or framed more typically as a crime film.
Coming out of the cinema, somehow I felt humbled by this film. It’s worth watching, even if you grew up Catholic like I did and think this might be a little difficult to digest.
p.s. It’s worth noting that the real-life newspaper team portrayed in the film won a Pulitzer Prize for this investigation.