Opening February 25, 2016
Directed by: Tom McCarthy
Writing credits: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
Principal actors: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy James
The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the priests’ child abuse scandal which rocked the Catholic Church in the ‘90s is meticulously depicted in this understated masterpiece directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy. Pavement pounding journalists defy all odds to get a scoop Bostonians don’t really want to read about. They have no choice. In 2002 from January to April almost 300 articles detailing the sexual abuse of children by priests were printed.
Over the years the hometown newspaper had received and mostly ignored documentation of priest misconduct in the Boston Archdiocese. It took the appointment of a new editor, the non-Bostonian and non-Catholic outsider Marty (Schreiber) to focus in on the story. He appointed a small group of investigative journalists, the Spotlight Team, to do gritty detective work and peel back the layers of evidence of both pedophilia and ultimately its cover-up. This dedicated group of reporters included Robby (Keaton), Mike (Ruffalo), Sacha (McAdams), and Matt (d'Arcy James).
Spotlight is reminiscent of a film classic All the President’s Men, the movie from the ‘70s where President Nixon was in the journalists’ sights. In this film the Globe reporters expose the systematic cover-up by another powerful authority figure, Archbishop Bernard Francis Law. That’s pretty gutsy journalism in a Catholic town like Boston. (Pat F.)