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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | January 20, 2020

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Oscar-nominated SPOTLIGHT puts Catholic Church degeneration into focus

Oscar-nominated SPOTLIGHT puts Catholic Church degeneration into focus

| On 02, Feb 2016

“How do you say no to God?”

It’s 2001. Newspapers are at the height of relevance. A team at the Boston Globe called Spotlight are investigating the scandal that is dozens of priests abusing young children in Massachusetts. For decades, it has been buried under fear — but when the story is revealed in 2002, countless victims are unburdened. It is already too late for some.

Fifteen years later, the story of these four dogged journalists has been made into a film so earnest and thrilling that you won’t notice the lack of car chases or romantic tangents. Director/screenwriter Tom McCarthy and screenwriter Josh Singer have crafted Spotlight with an intellectual detachment that echoes the efforts of the original investigation: thoughtfully, and with vigour. Exposition of characters is stripped back in a way that is not only accurate but also does not attribute a distracting sense of grandiosity.

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While the main focus of Spotlight is clearly the degeneration of many of the Catholic Church’s most trusted leaders, it also reminds us of the vitality of investigative journalism in a time when developed stories are often cast aside for speedy entertainment and high click rates.

A true ensemble piece, Spotlight’s cast includes Michael Keaton (Birdman), Rachel McAdams (True Detective), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatchers), Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Brian d’Arcy James (Game Change) and Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games). Ruffalo particularly stands out for his portrayal of energetic Mike Rezendes, perfectly emulating tics and mannerisms after closely studying his real-life counterpart.

Similarly to the effects of the original story publication, the film Spotlight is already prompting more and more victims of abuse to speak out about their experiences and is bringing awareness to a new generation. Although set in Boston, the film finishes with a pointed exposition of the universal weight of these stories — this is a horrific problem that exists right here in our country too, and is worthy of our attention and discussion.

Spotlight is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer here.

Images courtesy IMDB.