Not since ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN back in 1976 have we had a film that captured the real life events of uncovering a true story of significant importance to our nation and in the case of this film, the world. Brilliantly directed by Tom McCarthy who also wrote the script with Josh Singer, this film centers on the Spotlight investigative team of reporters from the Boston Globe as they uncovered the sex abuse scandal involving priests of the Boston Archdiocese in 2002. As a practicing Catholic it broke my heart to watch this picture go into great detail as the reporters slowly start to realize how much greater the abuse was from when they first started investigating about twenty priests. The final figures were staggering when the story finally broke after months of hard core investigating by this group of four reporters, which is rendered in great detail by this picture. One thing I came to greatly admire about the film is the realistic portrayal of investigative journalism, which is frankly not terribly glamorous and often times disruptive to the journalist’s personal lives. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church does far more good than is perhaps rendered here, but that is for another film to tackle (THE LETTERS). The point of this picture is to expose a cancer that was growing in the Boston Archdiocese because of consistent cover-ups by Archbishop Bernard Law and his subordinates. What was finally exposed was that there were close to 1,000 victims abused by approximately 271 religious clergy within the Boston Archdiocese, which was expanded to include 17,500 nationally in the United States. I should point out that certain religious clergy were falsely accused, something that this film does nothing to address perhaps because the majority of victims were telling the truth. The cast in brilliant in all respects with Mark Ruffalo sure to get an Oscar nomination probably in the Supporting Actor category, with tremendous support from Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci and John Slattery among others. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to see this film nominated not only for Best Picture but for numerous other Academy Awards. This is extraordinary filmmaking in every sense of the word.
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