Friday, 21 September 2018

Reporters go where angels fear to tread

CRITICALLY acclaimed, Spotlight is included in many critics’ top 10 films of 2015 and has received six Oscar nominations.

CRITICALLY acclaimed, Spotlight is included in many critics’ top 10 films of 2015 and has received six Oscar nominations.

Coming to the Henley Regal Picturehouse today (Friday), this dramatic thriller follows a fearless true-life story during a troubled time in American politics in the wake of 9/11, which becomes an important part of the narrative.

The main focus of the story concerns a probe by Boston Globe journalists into the widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.

The characters’ costumes were made to be particularly bland to reflect the events and to add a more realistic image of the working style.

Michael Keaton, best known for his roles in Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989) and Birdman (2014) takes on the role of Walter “Robby” Robinson, the leader of the “Spotlight” team of investigative journalists.

This group, including Sasha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), takes on the task of investigating — only to uncover a pattern of sexual abuse on children by priests in Massachusetts that had been suspiciously covered up by the Boston archdiocese.

The life of a bustling newsroom is captured well in the film with the serious subject matter being handled respectfully.

Having been raised in a Catholic family himself, Michael Keaton was emotionally affected by Spotlight’s story — particularly when filming a scene where Rachel McAdams’s character has to come clean to her grandmother about the harsh realities of her church.

It was speculated by a psychologist and former priest that the number of abusive priests was much higher than the originally recorded seven. By the close of their investigation, the Boston Globe journalists had found 250.

The script, written by Josh Singer, makes sure to stick as closely to the facts as possible.

Spotlight is directed by Tom McCarthy who was nominated for best director at the Golden Globes. His previous works include independent films The Visitor (2007) and Win Win (2011). He also co-wrote the successful Pixar film Up in 2009.

The race for the Oscars is still wide open. But with its gripping storyline, Spotlight could potentially have the momentum needed to get over the line in several of the key categories.

Review: Rachel Young

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