Friday, January 1, 2016

Spotlight

Starring: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber
Director: Tom McCarthy
Running Time: 2 hours, 8 minutes
Rating: R


This time of year is busy for Cuisine & Screen! The release of awards show season films has me hopping in and out of theatres as often as possible. I hate to kick things off with kind of a downer, but "Spotlight" really puts the spotlight on a pretty disturbing topic. The film gives us a look into the investigative journalism and uncovering of the child molestation scandal that rocked the Catholic Church, and the world.

It's been a while since I've been so on the fence about a film. It's pretty dark and dialogue-heavy, and it's driven more by strong, underrated acting than the plot. It's pretty incredible to be reminded what basically 4 people uncovered. Liev Schreiber plays the editor who prompted these newspaper journalists to research a small column that was published, hinting at some foul play in the Catholic Church. Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams (who's seemingly everywhere), the fantastic Mark Ruffalo and Brian d'Arcy James (loved ya, "Smash"!) portray the reporters who are tasked with this daunting assignment.

Stanley Tucci is one of the best out there today, and stars in an almost unrecognizable supporting role as an attorney who sets up interviews with victims for the journalists. We cringe as they relive their trauma. Just as progress is made in identifying the nearly 100 priests in Boston alone who molested children, the work is suddenly stalled - 9/11 happens, and this story gets pushed to the backburner. Victims begin to think their voices will never be heard. The journalists who are so invested in this story become frustrated. The film is pretty long, but it's representative of how long it took to uncover this scandal and tell it correctly and appropriately.

This is not the best picture of the year, but it's a pretty engrossing film. The actors were fully committed; one didn't outshine the other. But in all honesty, I think you could pass on this one. There are plenty of other films to look forward to coming out soon.


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