Spotlight (2014)

Tom McCarthy directs Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo in this true story drama where the investigative journalists of The Boston Globe turn their attentions to paedophilic abuse in the Catholic Church.

First time I saw this at the cinema I admired McCarthy’s restraint and unfussy storytelling but found it all rather dry and felt maybe he didn’t fully utilise the acting talent present. When it won the Best Picture Oscar that year, I didn’t begrudge Spotlight… an intelligent, adult and unsensational piece of filmmaking… even if it wasn’t my favourite. C’mon, we all want this kinda quality outlier to be recognised over bait and mediocre flavour of the months. Fast forward four year and I popped it on late night for a revisit and was utterly gripped. I couldn’t switch it off and save the second half at 3am. I had to get to the end. The slow dedicated chase of the cover-up is quietly enthralling. The ensemble work subtle. The tragedy breaks your heart without ever tugging at it synthetically. A modern great.


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