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"Spotlight" Exposes All the Cardinal's Men

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 7/11/2015 Jackie K. Cooper

Movie Review- Jackie K Cooper
"Spotlight" (Open Road Films)
"Spotlight" is a film about the reporters for the "Boston Globe" newspaper who exposed the pedophile priests of Boston and the hierarchy of the church who covered for them. It is a brilliantly acted film that has a true ensemble cast. The direction and the cinematography of the movie are first rate and the script details the ponderous work that had to be done in order to bring the story to completion.
In 2001 the Boston Globe had a four man team of reporters who worked on special projects. This "group" was called "Spotlight". It included Robbie Robinson (Michael Keaton), Mike Rezendez (Mark Ruffalo), Sasha Pfieffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d"Arcy James). Robinson was the leader of the group, and he reported to Managing Editor Ben Bradlee, Jr. (John Slattery).
When new Editor-in-Chief Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) arrives on the scene he asks the group to look into the possible child abuse acts of some priests in Boston. They agree to take on this project knowing full well what the reception will be from a large number of their subscribers who are Catholic. And they aren't wrong. The Church exerts a lot of pressure to keep the story under wraps.
This movie doesn't glorify the reporters who covered this story but rather just pays homage to their hard work and perseverance. It also reveals their amazement at the depth of the abuse that has been done in their city and their bewilderment at how far the Church would go to keep these priests protected.
It is definitely an ensemble cast but Keaton and Ruffalo have to be mentioned for their extraordinary work. These two men immerse themselves in the inner workings of their characters and simply disappear into them. Their performances, along with a hundred other especially well done elements, help make this a movie not to be forgotten.
Members of the audience might wish there was a climactic scene which would serve as a payoff for all that had gone before, but this is a true story and if such a scene didn't occur well then it couldn't be shown. Still the ending is a bit of a let down without something there to send the audience to its feet.
The movie is rated R for profanity and sexual conversations.
"Spotlight" does not offer much depth to its characters' personalities and/or home life situations. It instead sticks primarily to their work efforts. This keeps the audience at arm's length and weighs down the emotional impact of the story. However the reality of what was done by the men of the church, who were supposed to comfort and care for their congregants, is stunning. The facts are the facts and what was uncovered should never have been allowed to be hidden.
"Spotlight" tells a revealing story about all the Cardinal's men. It does it with depth, dignity and determination. The "Spotlight" reporting team won a Pulitzer for their efforts. The "Spotlight" actors might win Academy Awards when they are handed out next year.
I scored "Spotlight" a glaring 8 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper

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