Brilliant acting, pacing, script and economy make the true story Spotlight a well deserving whisper candidate for an Oscar. Spotlight is about the decades of sex crimes within the Catholic Church that were uncovered by the Boston Globe in 2002. It proves why the Globe won the Pulitzer Prize. Spotlight snores then trots to a gallop as it builds like stellar investigative reporting into an emotional pressure cooker of a finale. It is revealed that after a decades long cover up, one of the Cardinals who had been a chief molester of children in Boston had been elevated by the Catholic Church to a position of unscathed glorification in Rome. This fact horrified the screening audience as it applauded closing credits.
The cast of Spotlight is a tribute to fine ensemble acting. Michael Keaton (Birdman) plays Walter 'Robby' Robinson who heads the team of four reporters assigned to what is perceived initially by this team as a dull story. Keaton's acting is raw, genuine without mugging and an exercise in minimum use of energy to portray power of thought. The Boston Globe's Jewish editor, Marty Baron, is portrayed by Liev Schreiver (Ray Donovan) to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in one of the world's oldest and most trusted institutions. Schreiver is hard to recognize as his usual energy is tucked inside and a minimal, soft voiced mensch emerges as the boss whose gentle words have the impact of a bomb and his bearded persona adds to his gravitas.
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) as Mike Rezendes showed the most transformation as he was so deeply rooted in his character that he was barely discernible. His performance is riveting. Rachel McAdams (True Detective) portrays Sacha Pfeiffer in a thankless role. Her talents are left unnoticed while Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games) as Mitchell Garabedian again gives a dynamic portrayal of the lawyer who represented the many victims who were ignored and silenced by the Catholic Church and the media until the Boston Globe's Spotlight team began its tenacious investigation which led to exposing worldwide corruption. John Slattery (Mad Men) as Ben Bradlee Jr again gives a vital energetic performance which drives the film. While Brian d'Arcy James (Law and Order SVU) as reporter Matt Carroll rounds out the newsroom.
Academy Award nominee Tom Mc Carthy does a superlative job in directing the understated by allowing the fine acting and script do their magic. The sets are bland and boring as only a newsroom can be which allows the drama to be the focus. The camera work also is without tricks and the sound track emphasizes this thriller at just the right moments. Mc Carthy also wrote Spotlight along with Josh Singer.
Don't miss Spotlight for an exciting night at the movies and you will cheer its filmmakers and the Boston Globe for their Oscar worthy balls!