While I am an amatuer movie reviewer, I am definetly not a newspaper writer. Even so, I still can enjoy movies about the buissness (the main one that always comes to mind is All the President’s Men with Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, and Jason Robards. Spotlight may not be better than it, but it is still pretty great.
Going into the film, I knew what it was about. It covers the story of how, in 2001, the Boston Globe’s new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) gets the Spotlight team to investigate some known sexual accusations in the Catholic Church of the city. I went to Boston at least twice in my life, but never knew that the city was big on the Catholic Church. Still, the Spotlight team goes and investigates.
The actors are so pitch perfect that I don’t think I saw any reseblance of the known faces on the screen. The two most notable performances are by Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Keaton is Walter Robinson (called Robby), the head of Spotlight. Ruffalo is one of his co workers, Mike Rezendes. The other two on Spotlight are Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) and Sascha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams, who is so good I did not once think I was seeing the same actress from Mean Girls and The Notebook). They report to Ben Bradlee Jr., (John Slattery), whose father was portrayed by Jason Robards in All the President’s Men.
This is a movie that will require more than one viewing (there are a lot of characters, including Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian played wonderfully by Stanley Tucci). Still, the more each character investigates, the more truth comes out (the testimonies of the victims are blunt, horrifying, and down right tragic).
Parents, there is some swearing, but the subject matter is what gives the movie an R rating (the testimonies of the grown ups who were sexually assaulted as children is very graphic in what they say, although nothing is seen). Still, I would not show this to anyone under High School age.
The first bit of the movie had me a little uneasy as to where it was going, but I eventually caught on to what is surely one of the best films of the year (much credit also should go to the screenplay and the director Tom McCarthy). The film will definetly have many Oscar nominations.
One story I read about the real Walter Robinson talking about Michael Keaton’s portrayel had me smiling.
“My persona has been hijacked. If Michael Keaton robbed a bank, the police would quickly have me in handcuffs.”
Overall: Four and a Half Stars **** 1/2