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SPOTLIGHT (review)

spotlightSPOTLIGHT
Written by Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer / Directed by Tom McCarthy / Starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo

Mitchell Garabedian: If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.
Get ready for some heavy material with this one. That Said, with its all-star cast and, more importantly, its troubling subject matter, SPOTLIGHT will likely be one film you’ll be hearing about for several months to come.

The film’s title refers to the small, special investigative team of reporters at the Boston Globe who would research and publish articles on important issues that would normally be swept under the proverbial rug. In the early 2000’s, at a time when print media was beginning to suffer at the growth of online newspapers and magazines, and dailies were beginning to feel the pinch of budget cuts, the future of this unit was uncertain.

In the film, Michael Keaton plays Walter “Robby” Robinson, leader of the Spotlight team. When Marty Baron (played by Liev Schreiber, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) takes over at the Globe, he asks Robinson and his unit to focus their next assignment around allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of Boston priests spanning some 30 years, and the possibility of a cover-up within the Catholic Archdiocese.

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To which everyone’s instinctual reaction is: “You want to sue the Catholic Church?”

But once Robinson’s team – made up of Sacha (Rachel McAdams), Michael (Mark Ruffalo) and Matty (Brian d’Arcy James, Smash) begin to investigate this controversial lead, what they uncover begins to snowball into a story more horrific than any of them could have imagined.

Directed by Tom McCarthy (WIN WIN), SPOTLIGHT is passionate and riveting. Not to mention sobering. When one of the reporters is matter-of-factly told, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one”, the bitter truth of those words drives home the point that communities turn a blind eye to atrocities such as these on an all-too-often basis. What the Boston Globe uncovered is a story that had to be told. And McCarthy and his cast tell it strikingly well.

4.5 sheep

 

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