Foto: Press

Perfectly orchestrated journey through a journalistic investigation

Film: Spotlight

Director: Tom McCarthy

Actors:  Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams

Genre: Biography, Drama, History

Year: 2015

Rating: 6/6

Text: Yeonwoo Baik


Based on a true story, the film shows how “Spotlight”, a team of investigative reporters working for the Boston Globe newspaper, delves into allegations of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. The case seems difficult enough, as it concerns one of the major religions in the region, then grows into a task with much bigger scale and deeper layers to go through. As the investigations proceeds, it becomes the team’s goal to investigate the massive, systematic cover-up of child sexual abuse issues within the Catholic Church.

Any film is difficult to make, but for a film such as “Spotlight” which follows a line of fastidious journalistic exploration, it can be more difficult. It needs a script that does not let any detail go unquestioned, actors and actresses who can breathe life into the script, good tension that makes the viewers stay intrigued and keep following the course of the exploration, pictures that do not distract the viewers too much but still have the essence that keeps the viewers’ eyes fixed, and a director who can adeptly weave together all these elements and orchestrate the final product. “Spotlight” can be said to satisfy all these conditions. The suspense tangible throughout the course of the investigation is remarkable, and the performances by the main characters are so heartfelt and skillful. It is hard to find people who do not mention Mark Ruffalo’s great performance after watching the film. Every element of the film falls into its designated place leaving no unnecessary empty space, just like a good journalistic investigation should be—indeed, journalists will be especially thrilled watching this film. It is an absolutely well made masterpiece that will never fail to stimulate viewers.

The actual Spotlight team published the first products of their investigation on January 6th, 2002, and was soon followed by many other related stories. The uproar the Spotlight team created made Cardinal Bernard Law, then the Archbishop of Boston, step down from his position. The team won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for their reporting work.