Easily one of the best films of 2015, Spotlight showcases an outstanding cast while keeping the pace and telling an incredible story. The sadness of it all can be a bit heavy, but people need to know regardless. Spotlight follows the timeline in which the Boston Globe revealed that around 90 priests in the Catholic Church faced molestation accusations regarding mostly young boys.
There was never going to be a way to tell this story without the looming intensity of it dragging viewers down. This is a real thing that happened in our lifetime and that’s the hardest bit to swallow. Fortunately, Director Tom McCarthy executed the retelling expertly.
Given the subject matter, this movie could’ve easily been overdone and too dramatic. That was not the case. The cast is absolutely stellar as well. Michael Keaton — who came back magnificently after a hiatus — plays Walter “Robby” Robinson who heads up the Spotlight team for the Boston Globe. After a meeting with the new editor at the Globe, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), Baron urges Robby to follow up on a story about a pedophile priest by the name of John Geoghan.
Also on the Spotlight team are Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), and Matt Carroll (Brian D’Arcy James). Each and every one of these people did brilliant investigative work to show the world what the church and so many others worked so hard to cover up, even sacrificing relationships and the oblivious happiness of loved ones in doing so.
Perhaps one of the more shocking bits in the film was the priest who openly admitted to what he’d done, but rationalized it by saying he never took joy from it, therefore absolving him of any fault or wrongdoing. That is the type of thing that makes someone step back and kinda go, “Whoa, whoa, whoa… whoa.”
The storytelling was superb and the performances — all of them — were sublime. Mark Ruffalo brought his character so thoroughly to life that at one point I had to remind myself that he’s come a long damn way from 13 Going On 30. His on screen partnership with the attorney who helped get damning evidence released for public consumption, Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci), was particularly enjoyable.
This movie is just great all over. Howard Shore’s score rounds it out beautifully, as well. As heartbreaking and shocking as it may be, Spotlight moves gracefully through a very difficult period of time that saw more than one tragedy and doesn’t stumble for even a moment. Now we can all just sit back and watch the well-deserved accolades roll in.