For Reel


Spotlight (2015)
October 21, 2015, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Thomas McCarthy
4 Stars
SpotlightSpotlight is a celebration of good journalism, a film where the moments of lasting dramatic impact come in either particularly revealing interviews or big finds in dark basements riddled floor to ceiling with files and books. As with Zodiac, the film plays as a journalistic procedural, where the drama of the process of reporting itself becomes the focus. Critically, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer’s screenplay doesn’t indulge in parading grotesque corrupt priests for the audience’s scorn, rather deals almost exclusively with the victims, as well as the lawyers, reporters, and other activists who have felt defeated in a seemingly losing battle against the behemoth that is the Catholic church. The cast delivers uniformly fine work, with the unknowns stealing their scenes given the generous performances of their famous co-stars. Mark Ruffalo’s Michael Rezendes has an emotional outpouring that feels slightly unearned, and there are perhaps too many shots of him looking distraught as he ponders the story while watching innocent schoolchildren, but for the most part director McCarthy plays things with an admirable sense of understatement and precision.