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Spotlight

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A thread becomes a trail becomes a tapestry, a tapestry that interweaves community, faith, journalistic responsibility and an explosive story. Such is Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s enthralling thriller about the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight investigation into child abuse by the Catholic Church, as an initially small number of cases leads to the exposure of multiple molestations and systematic cover-ups. Despite the enormous ramifications of this story, the film’s great strength is its quietness, interviews between the journalists and victims as well as discussions at the Globe largely played out deliberately and without stylistic flourishes. The rich sociological texture of Boston is conveyed through wide-angle shots of the city, deep focus presenting the architecture of the buildings while the soundtrack is an evocative blend of accents and urban hubbub. The offices of the Globe have a palatable working atmosphere, long takes capturing conversations that are simultaneously urgent and everyday. The cumulative effect of this rich tapestry is to express the sociological interconnections of Boston, the Globe as much a part of the city as the church, the courthouse and the various schools. This interconnectivity, further underlined by the growing importance of the Internet in the story, emphasizes that such matters as child protection and confronting the truth are shared responsibility, and to deny such responsibility is to contribute to ongoing injustice. Spotlight is therefore not only a gripping journalism thriller, but also a sober yet hopeful commentary on social responsibility.

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10 Comments

  1. […] Musical or Comedy. The Big Short won Outstanding Producer at the Producers’ Guild of America. Spotlight won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild and The […]

  2. […] and traditionally male endeavours – finance, law/espionage, (space) exploration, survival, journalism. Meanwhile, the “women’s” films consist of a story of motherhood and a period […]

  3. […] yet sad sweetness about her in Carol, making her arc soulful and heartbreaking. Rachel McAdams in Spotlight is a solid and sympathetic presence, but I feel she has more to offer and, frankly, everyone in […]

  4. […] – Bale and Ruffalo are fine members of the ensemble casts of, respectively, The Big Short and Spotlight, and Hardy is a brilliant antagonist in The Revenant. I would be happy to see any of them win – […]

  5. […] in no way surprising. The Big Short‘s win for Adapted Screenplay was also expected, as was Spotlight‘s win for Original Screenplay. But like many people, I was flabbergasted when Morgan Freeman […]

  6. […] Picture nominees were inward looking and critical, including The Big Short and the eventual winner, Spotlight. For the Academy to reward Spotlight in this way, as well as other films like A Girl in the River, […]

  7. […] 4. Spotlight (29 January 2016) […]

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