Film Review & Trailer: Spotlight

Frances Winston thought Spotlight was a great film, which didn’t get bogged down in its subject matter, and with great performances all round

Directed by: Tom McCarthy – Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci

When even the Catholic Church are praising a movie about revelations of child abuse by clergy for its balanced approach, you know they have done something right! This film may deal with a heavy topic, but it manages not to get bogged down by its subject matter, and focuses on the facts. Surprisingly balanced, it is no wonder it has been receiving award nominations left, right and centre.

Set around The Boston Globe Spotlight team’s investigation into paedophilia within the clergy, it follows Walter “Robby” Robinson (Keaton) as he and his group of intrepid reporters dig deeper into the scandal, and uncover ever more sordid facts.

Initially believing they are researching a case involving one priest, it soon becomes clear that there has been a monumental cover-up, but without evidence, they can’t publish the details. The Catholic Church does everything in its power to prevent them getting access to files, but undeterred they strike on, eventually exposing the truth.

Since it’s based on a true story, nothing in the above synopsis should come as a spoiler. Indeed the team won a Pulitzer Prize for civil service for the exposé. It would have been very easy to focus on this, and portray the journalists as gung-ho heroes. However, McCarthy has resisted this temptation, and instead shows the personal and professional struggle they undertook, in order to highlight this story. The tone is balanced throughout, and the gory details are never sensationalised, but equally are not downplayed.

This is yet another ensemble offering, of which there have been so many of late. Absolutely everyone gives a fantastic performance, as you would expect from actors of this calibre, and the energy between the entire cast is fantastic.

This has no heart-stopping moments, or big action sequences. Rather it is a solid drama with excellent script, and editing that keeps you gripped throughout. Unfortunately, this may work against it in awards season, when voters tend to like even their serious dramas to be somewhat “jazzier”.

However, if you are looking for a solid and engaging movie that manages to make a controversial subject matter watchable, then this is definitely the one for you. Don’t let the storyline put you off as this is an excellent movie.

In cinemas January 22nd!

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The new LGBT magazine; available online, for download and on podcast. It's time for another view.
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