by Sandra Kraisirideja
Focused on the Boston Globe’s investigation of sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese, the film Spotlight manages to make the everyday work of investigative journalists exciting to watch.
It shouldn’t be compelling to watch a group of people hunched over thick name directories, searching for accused pedophiles armed with nothing more than a ruler and a pen, yet this is a surprisingly engaging scene in Spotlight.
Directed by Tom McCarthy, who also wrote the screenplay with John Singer, Spotlight has a well-crafted story and a superb cast.
Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James are the members of the Spotlight Team who uncovered a massive scandal in 2002 involving decades of child molestation and cover-up within the local Archdiocese. The story led to the discovery of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in dozens of cities worldwide.
Liev Schreiber and John Slattery also have supporting roles as Globe editors who oversee the Spotlight Team. Schreiber is terrific as Marty Baron, the editor who pushed the Spotlight Team to prove that highest ranking officials at the Archdiocese knew about sexual abuse and did nothing to stop it.
Stanley Tucci is also terrific as a prosecutor who assists the Spotlight Team by supplying crucial documents that prove the Boston Archdiocese ignored the sexual abuse allegations for years.
The search for the truth and the dedication of the Globe’s Spotlight Team is inspiring to watch. The coverage earned the team a Pulitzer Prize.
While their actions could be viewed as heroic, the movie doesn’t amplify the work of these journalists to make them appear super human. Instead the movie shows how these people simply did their jobs and did them well.