Spotlight is one of the most important movies of 2015.
Not only does it approach a controversial topic often swept under the rug, the movie presents its story through the characters without taking away from the main point. This can only be done by considerable directing (Tom McCarthy, receiving an Oscar nomination) and great actors like Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams (both receiving Oscar noms for Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively), Michael Keaton, and more.
Fervently approaching the Catholic Church child sex abuse topic, Spotlight emphasizes how important and relevant and shocking this story is. Due to both cover-ups and 9/11, modern audiences are probably not aware of how pervasive the problem is. This ignorance, willful or not, is shattered by the way McCarthy has the movie break the story.
Realistic and emotional characters make the journalists more relatable. The story, too, becomes more powerful and shocking, as the characters’ ignorance on the topic is most likely the same as the audience’s. Everyone’s reactions of disbelief and dread, therefore, are believable and absolutely real. Suspense to tension-breaking, the storyline seems to parallel the Boston Globe journalists’ struggles themselves, as the audience sees how every journalist involved is personally affected by the investigation, falling apart at the seams. From snapping belligerently to breaking a dish, the actors subtly but poignantly demonstrate the stress of the journalists in a way that melds perfectly with the events portrayed.
Spotlight really does do justice to both the victims of the Catholic Church and the journalists who worked tirelessly to investigate and break the story without removing any power from the story itself. Its non-showy and solid storytelling is a result of flawless direction from Tom McCarthy, Spotlight gets an A+.