I’ve already written my post for the Best Films of the Year and if you’ve read it, you’d notice that Spotlight made it’s place on there before I got a chance to write my review. And the fact that it’s on that list really makes the conclusion of this review irrelevant. But I’m going to write the lead-up anyway…
Spotlight follows The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” specialist team lead by Walter “Robby” Robinson (played by Michael Keaton) and consisting of Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James) and their investigations in the now-famous cases of widespread abuse of children by Boston Catholic priests.
The first thing that Spotlight does brilliantly is it’s victory in the conquest for ultra-realism. Everything is incredibly realistic in Spotlight. There are a lot of dramatic Oscar films where a character will hear some bad news and immediately lunge their fists towards the closest item of glass. In Spotlight, whenever a character hears some very bad news or has a terrible revelation… they sit and revelate like they would in reality.
And speaking of the characters… Wow. Every single performance in Spotlight is excellent. Michael Keaton has proven that Birdman wasn’t a one-off success for him and that he’s back for good. Rachel McAdams shows that she’s capable of a lot more than just soppy romantic dramas. Brian d’Arcy James’s less-shown yet still great performance fits in perfectly with the already clustered brilliant cast. And the thief of the show has to be Mark Ruffalo as he is absolutely amazing as the journalist who is devoting his life and emotion to finding the truth.
Spotlight is not a comedy by any means and it’s really far from being a “light” drama. It’s very heavy hitting in both it’s execution, tone and general subject matter. The more information that the characters learn and the more we as an audience progress in the investigation, the more shock we add to our already massive pile of disgust towards the accused in the film.
Spotlight is a very hard-hitting film that is executed brilliantly and with fantastic performances. Not one you should see if you’re looking for a good time (a comedy or anything to kill the hours) but definitely one to see if you’re looking for a good movie.
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