Film Review: Spotlight (2015)

And the Oscar Goes to:

Spotlight, 2015

Directed by: Tom McCarthy

Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams

Spotlight is an American biographical crime drama focusing on the Spotlight team of The Boston Globe and their investigation into cases of widespread child sex abuse claims in the Boston area, with many priests accused as the abusers.

Unlike Moonlight, Spotlight has a clear A-to-B plot structure, as we follow the team’s investigation from beginning to end as they uncover the sheer extent to the claims. The writing and pacing of the claims was brilliantly executed; with an early feel of a couple at most, before one sufferer claimed as many as 13 could be involved, and subsequently another sufferer, who has done some of his own investigations, claims a figure much, much higher. These are spread evenly apart from one another and allow the number to sink in, and our shock to ease somewhat, and be solved before the number increases.

The characterisation in Spotlight is brilliant. The writing and editing and pacing of the film allows the characters to come across as natural, as it’s easy to forget that it’s a film and not a documentary,a s the characters are played brilliantly. Especially Mark Ruffalo; seeing him grow from a happy-go-lucky character early on to a man so hell-bent on getting justice that he puts everything he has, and every emotion he has, into solving the crime. Ruffalo aside, though, every actor is brilliant in this movie.

One of the best parts of this film, and it’s a credit to everyone involved, especially the writers, is how the journalists in the film come across as journalists, rather than actors. They each look like they’re showing true emotion and a desire for justice against the abusers and it helps their performances. From a small scandal to one state-wide and beyond, the pacing of the film is brilliant, with well-written characters and enough shock value and intrigued to keep you watching.

Plot: * * *     Acting: * * * * *     Writing: * * * * *     Presentation: * * * *

Overall Rating: * * * * ¼



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