I’ve found my favorite film of the Academy Award season. Spotlight is based on the true story of how a team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe brought to light the cover-up by the Catholic Archdiocese of decades of pedophilia perpetrated by priests. It is a film that will move you, perhaps to tears. It will draw you along with the Spotlight team as they discover the truth of the injustice done to the victims, all within the shortest couple of hours I’ve spent in a movie theater in recent weeks.
The film boasts an all-star cast including Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Billy Crudup, and the Best Supporting Actor and Actress noms, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. Also nominated were director Tom McCarthy, the film itself for Best Picture, and for Film Editing.
This drama (biography/history) is rated R for some language, including sexual references.
I remember hearing about priests molesting young boys sometime during the 1970’s. I wasn’t much out of high school, and not being raised Catholic, didn’t know what to think about that disclosure. But as I recall, the person sharing this information made a joke of it, laughed it off, happy it hadn’t happened to him (or had it?).
“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them,” is a quote from the film. Personal responsibility is brought into question for all who knew about the abuse and did not loudly protest what was happening. Instead it was ignored, and at its worst, involved attorneys taking money to pay off the families and victims. Where was their personal responsibility? It is time we all vow to break the silence where any abuse is concerned.
This is a film I’d recommend be first on your list to jog out and see while still in the theaters, prior to the Oscars. There are scenes where victims tell their stories to the journalists, both moving and revealing. It didn’t make me uncomfortable to hear since I have a background in counseling and therapy. These types of disclosures don’t set me off into a bout of PTSD, although I still empathize. There appeared to be some people in the theater having a hard time with it because I heard talking and someone asking them if they just wanted to leave. I can’t stand people talking during the movie so that was distracting and rude. But I could sympathize if that’s what was going on with them.
I have a couple more films to see this year that were nominated, but as of this point, I doubt that anything else will live up to Spotlight. In my opinion, a movie that wins Best Picture should be the greatest film of the year for future generations of movie watchers to seek out. It should be of the highest caliber, with an inspirational message, and I can’t imagine some violence filled picture fitting that standard at all.
This is the one.