Spotlight, brilliantly written and directed by Tom McCarthy, opened November 6th and it is a film you do not want to miss this season. Based on true events, the film takes place in Boston and tells a fascinating and compelling story of how the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe changed the world in 2001 through their investigation of the Catholic Church by exposing dozens of local Boston priests to sexual abuse.
The team that comprises the writers of Spotlight could not have been a more perfect cast. The film stars Mark Ruffalo depicting a charming, tough and strong willed, reporter Mike Rezendes; Michael Keaton captures the essence of the powerful editor Robbie Robinson; Rachel McAdams portrays a pensive and persistent researcher Sacha Pfeiffer; and Brian Dâ€™Arcy James conveying a witty approach to reporter Matt Carroll. While actors John Slattery, Leiv Schreiber, bring a powerful presence and drive the story, Stanley Tucci nails the hesitant lawyer role with timidity and force.
Spotlight serves as a double entendre: first, the name of the team of writers who conduct the investigation, and second, it represents the startling truth of the number of victims (ranging in the hundreds) who were molested by priests.
The writers made sure to shine a light, and bring attention to the victims of abuse. The film does not visually recreate in any shape or form how the molestations happened. Instead, Tom McCarthy uses the characters Sacha Pfeiffer and Mike Rezendes to interview several of the victims, who reveal a heartbreaking truth.
The Spotlight team never surrendered their work until they found each piece, every correct document that would confirm allegations. Because of their persistence and courage, the Boston Globe received a Pulitzer Prize, and hundreds of cities around the world followed in their footsteps to stop any further sex abuse by priests. Spotlight is a tasteful reminder of the important job of journalists and reporters in the media, because they bring to life crucial issues that would not have earned attention otherwise.
The survivors among us who have been traumatized by priests often suffer from depression and turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with their pain. Spotlight shows audiences that there is hope for survivors and that everyone has a responsibility.
What makes this film so brilliant, as well as touching, is the willingness for everyone involved to face the truth of such a tragic, painful subject, and turn it into a triumph at the end.