ByJames Wood, writer at
Unabashed Transformers fan. Man crush on Tom Hardy. Avid fan of Tommy Wiseau's cult disasterpiece The Room.
James Wood

Winner of the best picture award at the Oscars, Spotlight shines a light on an interesting issue that was hidden away and kept quiet from the public, until the newspaper The Boston Globe started digging. A team of journalists assigned to the case make it their mission to find proof that the story about the priesthood molesting kids was covered up, and why.

This is a such a concise, realistic and natural telling of this true life story. I loved how grounded it all felt, the lack of soundtrack and grand cinematography meant that the focus was always on the events that unfolding. The way secrets and new details that the journalists uncover spill out adds immediate impact, especially when they realise the amount of convicted priests in their local area.

The cinematography is decent, nothing too big in scale but nothing that stands out and makes you think "ooh that's a lovely shot". There's no intricate camera movements but with a film like this and its subject, there is no need to show off elegant moves, we want to get involved with the narrative without being pulled out of it. The framing does the job required to centre the characters when they are revealing information, and it keeps them the focus when needed. The characters themselves are a fascinating bunch, each of them dedicated and highly motivated to get the paper publishing the facts to expose the church.

As for performances, the cast absolutely nail it! Michael Keaton delivers yet again, he is fiery and very blunt and I liked that, he gets the right tone for this character who finds himself tasked with a heavy job. Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo in particular stand out, each of them pose interesting expressive movements and traits, they both definitely deserved their supporting actor nominations. Liev Schreiber is utterly brilliant as a very straight talking character with a reserved nature. Stanley Tucci, once again, brings a few laughs with his considerable talent. Overall, these are all natural and believable performances.

I'd recommend this film, it's very well observed and whilst it hasn't got much re-visit value, it is not to be missed and deserves the attention. Rating: 7.4


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