"Spotlight" (2015 release; 128 min.# brings the true story of how the Boston Globe eventually broke the story of the widespread abuse of young children by Boston priests while the Catholic Church stood by and covered it up. As the movie opens, we are in "Boston, MA - 1976", where we see a priest being accused of abuse. "Wait until the arraignment, the press will be all over it", comments one cop. "What arraignment?", replies the other cop. We then fast-forward to "July, 2001", and we get to know the 4 member Spotlight, an investigative reporting team at the Boston Globe. The Globe also has just gotten a new editor, Marty Baron, "an unmarried Jewish guy who doesn't like baseball" #the implication being he's no fit for Boston#. But it's not long before Baron picks up on a recent column about abuse by Boston priests, and he orders Spotlight to look into it. At this point we're not even 15 minutes into the movie, but to tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from writer and sometimes director Tom McCarthy #he won an Oscar for writing "UP"#, and I have to say, "Spotlight" is the giant leap forward as a director, and he has now placed himself in the upper ranks of today's directors. The trick with these movies is: how can the director brings a movie, whose outcome we already know going in, and still capture our attention? It was the same question faced by the makers of "All The President's Men", of course, and in fact "Spotlight" very much reminds me of "All The President's Men": top-notch all the way, and it feels like a thriller as you're watching it. At one point, someone comments "it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to abuse a child", pinpointing the collective failing of all of Boston for so many years. The abuse of power and influence of the Catholic Church is simply appalling. Kudos to the various performers, including Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachael McAdams, Stanley Tucci, and Liev Schreiber, just to name those. They all bring powerful performances. Last but not least, there is a nice orchestral score from Hollywood veteran composer Howard Shore. If "Spotlight" does somewhat okay at the box office, This movie looks to be in line for a bunch of nominations and even awards in the upcoming awards season.
The movie opened nationally in the theaters in late November, and I couldn't wait to see it. The early evening screening where I saw this at in Ft. Myers was reasonably attended but by no means a sell-out. Given the movie will get many well-deserved accolades in the upcoming awards season, it may find a larger audience still. "Spotlight is a must-see, not just because it covers an important issue but most of all because it is one heck of a movie #Top 3 of 2015 for me, along with Sicario and Sun of Saul#. If you liked "All the President's Men", drop everything and go see this. "Spotlight" is HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!