Sunday, 27 December 2015

Spotlight ... Making news

SPOTLIGHT casts light on how the four-person Spotlight investigative team of the Boston
Globe unearthed tonnes of documents, encountered millions of obstacles and interviewed a multitude a people to reveal how the Boston Catholic Church shunted paedophile priests from one parish to another to avoid their discovery.
  On one hand, the film's about how the Catholic Church held such sway over the predominantly Catholic city.

  On the other hand, it's about how dogged American persistence and good ol' fashioned investigative journalism overcame the odds to reveal the rot in the Church. As new Globe Jewish editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) said: "We're not taking on the system, we're taking on an institution."
  I enjoyed the film and its atmosphere, which took me back to 2001, when the entry of Baron on July 2 promises to shake things up at the esteemed newspaper.
   As a newcomer, he was treading carefully but in his first editorial meeting, he says the paper should focus on the priest sex scandal. Deputy managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr (John Slattery) later describes Baron as making a gutsy call for his first move.
   The three reporters who make up Spotlight are Mike Rezendes (Mike Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James), who report directly to editor Walter 'Robby' Robinson (Michael Keaton).
  Their camaraderie, eagerness, hard work and desire to reveal the truth form the backbone of this film, but it would be remiss of me if I don't also mention the delicate subject matter and it's horrifying consequences on the victims.
   The interviews with the victims, who are now adults, are the film's heart and are also the most depressing to watch.
   Towards the end of the film, Pfeiffer tracks down a geeky-looking priest living with his sister. To Pfeiffer's amazement, and also ours, he admits with a straight face to fooling around with boys but that he didn't rape them, because he would know.
  When asked how he would know, he said: "Because I was raped."
   The Globe, for its part, doesn't wag its finger at the authorities, lawyers or others who hid the subject or swept it under the rug. In one introspective moment towards the end of the film, Robinson said he was aware of a list of 20 priests accused of paedophilia, but as the metro editor then, he didn't act on it.
  The film shows how the Church got its way with practically everything. Early on, a priest is in lock-up for being accused of paedophilia, but the knowing veteran police officer says nothing will happen to the priest, which turns out to be true, as a smartly-dressed lawyer breezes in to the police department and whisks him away.
  Also, in a couple of scenes, churches loom large over the city and its residents, signifying the church's power and its far-reaching tentacles.
  The film's sole detraction is that it's a dramatization of something that had happened in 2001. You know the outcome, which is the publishing of the article by the Spotlight team, which later won the Pulitzer Prize for its work.
  However, it does a good job by focusing on the reporters beating the street to get the story and warding off competition from the other city newspaper. I can't remember the last time a US film about the newspaper industry beat its chest (or masthead) so proudly and loudly.

 4 out of 5 stars

  
Director Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer won
Best Original Screenplay for 'Spotlight'.

 

2016 OSCAR WINNERS


BEST PICTURE
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Winner: Spotlight

DIRECTING
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant
Lenny Abraham, Room
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Winner: Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Winner: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Winner: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Winner: Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
Winner: The Revenant
Sicario
Mad Max: Fury Road 

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Winner: The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Winner: Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton 

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Winner: Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok
Winner: Stutterer

 COSTUME DESIGN
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant 

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
Winner: Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Winner: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

FILM EDITING
The Big Short
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Embrace of the Serpent
Mustang
Winner: Son of Saul
Theeb
A War

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out
the Window and Disappeared
The Revenant

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Bridge of Spies
Carol
Winner: The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Earned It, Fifty Shades of Grey
Manta Ray, Racing Extinction
Simple Song #3, Youth
Til It Happens To You, The Hunting Ground
Winner: Writing's On The Wall, Spectre

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant 

SOUND EDITING
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Oscars 2016

SOUND MIXING
Bridge of Spies
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

VISUAL EFFECTS
Winner: Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens







 

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