Thursday, December 10, 2015
Spotlight - Movie Review
Written by Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer.
Directed by Tom McCarthy.
Spotlight is a tightly directed, straightforward journalism mystery in the spirit of All the President's Men, when a small group of journalists decided to take on a giant institution.
This is about the "Spotlight" team at the Boston Globe, which refers to the team that does long-form investigation. This is back when print still mattered more than the internet, in 2001. When Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) took over the Globe, he was seen as an outsider, and it took an outsider to focus the spotlight team, led by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton), on the recent stories of Catholic priests molesting children in Boston. At first it seemed like two or three cases, but Baron wanted them to look at the system that was enabling these priests.
It's a great example of when a thoroughly-researched story can make a difference, and how much work actually went into said research. In the internet age, this may be becoming a lost art. There is not a wasted scene, and each one builds the next. It's a precisely crafted procedural that manages to build suspense even as we know what the outcome is.