There are no frills to Spotlight. It’s a lean, sharp and thoroughly engaging Film and that’s completely down to the script and the riveting performances from the lead cast.
Set at the beginning of the millennium, Spotlight is the true story of a group of journalists working for the Boston Globe newspaper who expose the scandal of the Catholic Church covering up the molestation of young children by priests.
Of course, it’s a very tough subject to tackle and at times a tough one to watch, but the Film takes a delicate and thoughtful approach to its story and its a highly engaging watch. This is all down to the excellent script from writers Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy who compose a careful and well-articulated tale of corruption and the smart women and men who helped to expose it.
From the outset, it’s clear that it’s a Film of strong morals and little flash. There’s no gimmicks, no abuse of sentimentality or falling into dramatic cliches. Instead, it’s carefully paced and slowly unraveling and the characters are honest and expertly judged. Director Tom McCarthy opts to present everything with minimal flare, letting the natural drama of the situation speak for itself.
The cast is on excellent form, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci, among others, give subtle and deft performances and they make 2 hours of talking, typing and writing more interesting than the biggest, most effects-driven blockbusters.
The cinematography is flat, matching the unshowiness of the rest of the Film, the score is melodic and leisurely and the use of locations adds layers of metaphor to the script.
The story is such a horrific thing to hear about and by focusing on the corruption, instead of showing a revenge story with the priests as devil figures to capture, they pay more respect to the victims and give them a voice. It’s a fairly small focus for them but they’re testimonies are emotionally raw and give the Film its resonance.
In the end, Spotlight is a deserved award winner and an excellent Film that tells the story of the people who exposed a horrible scandal amongst the institutions that are meant to provide support. It’s an enthralling and honest drama and I liked it very much.