Spotlight has received tons of buzz ever since it clinched the Oscar win for Best Picture, squeaking past The Revenant and The Big Short. The latter two were both excellent films, so why did Spotlight win the most coveted award? Let’s take a look…
Directed by Tom McCarthy, the film was released in November of 2015. It won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture. It stars Michael Keaton as Walter “Robby” Robinson, Mark Ruffalo as Mark Rezendes, Rachel McAdams as Sacha Pfeiffer, and Liev Schreiber as Marty Baron. The cast was great and part of what makes the film so entertaining. Honestly, I forgot that the actors were not actual reporters. But the real hero of the film was the screenplay.
For those who do not know what Spotlight is about, it reveals the investigation into the child molestation scandal within the Catholic Church. The film is set in Boston and follows The Boston Globe “Spotlight” reporters as they go to great lengths to discover all the information they can in order to write a story that tells the truth about the conflict. The team interviews priests, victims, and lawyers that were involved in the scandal. What they uncovered was unbelievable and sad. The screenplay was written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. It definitely deserved the Oscar. I was totally captivated by the story because of it. The screenplay kept me on edge and told the story perfectly.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”- Mitchell Garabedian
The acting in this film was flawless. According to IMDb, both Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo met and took advice from the real people they were portraying. It is obvious that the two of them deeply cared about their roles. Keaton’s performance was my favorite to watch. His character was witty but sincere. The real Walter Robinson said: “My persona has been hijacked. If Michael Keaton robbed a bank, the police would quickly have me in handcuffs.” (IMDb). I’m surprised Keaton did not get an Oscar nomination. However, Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams did receive Oscar nominations but did not win. The characters in the film were fascinating and well-developed.
The film was very authentic and really affected me. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried during a film or TV show viewing, and this was one of them. Being a Roman Catholic, it was very sad to see this corruption happen within the Church. I was also upset because it gives another reason for people to criticize Catholicism. Within the film, it mentions how 6% of priests have probably molested children. But one must remember that 94% priests are still trustworthy and good. Priests are human and are not exempt from falling to temptation. After all, we put our complete faith in God above and not in the people who act as messengers or intermediaries. The Catholic Church is not the only system that is victim to this problem.
Many people are wondering whether Spotlight really deserved to win the top honor at the Oscars. I believe it does deserve Best Picture because all of the components to making a film were superb. The acting, plot, and script were all ideal. A film has not affected me the way this one did in such a long time. It is a film that will make viewers think and reflect.
I recommend that everyone see this film in order to formulate their own opinions and thoughts. Spotlight is entertaining and informative. It touches on a sensitive topic and does an exceptional job of telling a story. If you have seen it, please comment your thoughts below!
The film is rated R for sensitive and adult subject matter. There is also profanity.
(Image from Newsweek.com)