Director: Tom McCarthy
Talent: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci
Release Date: January 29th 2016
There’s a lot of unspoken tension simmering beneath the surface of Spotlight. The true story of the Boston Globe’s investigation of clerical abuse knowingly keeps its audience a few steps ahead of the protagonists, with each new revelation coming as a surprise to them, but not us. The film’s focus is on the little details, the functional nuts and bolts of investigative journalism, rather than a grand statement of what it all meant. The result is an expansive yet engrossing journo-film in the vein of All the President’s Men – ostensibly running though the real story as it happened, without a lot of comment. What really sells it is the ensemble cast (Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, all at the top of their game), delivering clever, nuanced performances. Nothing gets overstated, and the real impact of the investigation itself is left to a chilling but muted reminder of just how deeply ingrained and widespread clerical abuse really was.
Words: Bernard O’Rourke