Friday, 19 February 2016

Spotlight Review

Spotlight was one of the films I was most looking forward to this Oscar season. A great cast telling the story of a true and very serious event. Nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars alongside Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams being nominated for their supporting roles. But would the film be worthy of being in the spotlight as it is right now?

Spotlight stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber and Stanley Tucci. It is the telling of a Boston newspaper team investigating allegations about priest John Geoghan who had been accused of molesting more than 80 children. The investigation leads them to discover more stories to this and unveil a truly horrific story. They soon discover that there is decades worth of hidden crimes all similar to Geoghans as they work to expose the abusers and the Catholic church. To do so they face many obstacles such as lawyers, getting the stories from victims and also hidden documents showing proof of the disgusting acts done by these members of the Catholic church. 

The Spotlight team

This film is 100% worth seeing. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Being from Scotland, I had small knowledge of these events but never to these extents. People need to see this film to know the full extent of what happened by these horrible people. Although it takes place in one city it gives a massive impact on what happened. A very serious subject matter and the film does an absolutely fantastic job at showing this. But not to the extent that it becomes tedious, the film keeps you very interested at all moments. This film deserves all the praise that it is getting and it's Best Picture nomination is so well deserved. In fact it is my pick to scoop up the award, I feel it is that good. It is a very well put together film and is definitely worth seeing as soon as possible.

The performances in Spotlight are great. Mark Ruffalo has won my pick for Best Supporting Actor in the Oscars due to the performance. He was truly magnificent in this role and I'm not just talking about his great talent of holding a phone between his shoulder and ear. He produced a fantastic performance which I feel is Oscar worthy. The scene when it has all been discovered and he loses his cool is just amazing. Rachel McAdams was the only other performance nominated for an Oscar which was also well deserved. Her character was much more comforting and focussed on the victims to get them to open up about these attacks.  She played her role fantastically and in my book, was worthy of the nomination she received.

Mark Ruffalo with an Oscar worthy performance

Michael Keaton once again was very good. It looks as if we're going to get fantastic movies from him each year now which is great following up from Birdman. Liev Schrieber also produced a solid performance although he didn't appear in the film as much as the other characters did or as much as I hoped he would. Performances from the likes of Stanley Tucci, Brian D'Arcy and John Slattery were also very good. I also feel a credit to Neal Huff who played Phil Saviano who did a great job at playing a victim who seemed slightly unhinged and unsure whether to be trusted as a legitimate source. Overall the performances in Spotlight work incredibly well and are very good all around.

This movie is indeed quite frightening due to the subject matter. Over 80 accounts of molestation happening in one city is so incredibly scaring. You might think that it's only just the one city but the film then goes to prove that it is a worldwide thing and not just specifically Boston. I don't think I've ever felt a film hit me harder than at the end of the film where a list of all of the cities affected by these crimes were put on screen. Once I seen the city that I was watching the film in, it really hit me and set me back. As Mark Ruffalo's character says it in the film, it could've been anyone. That to me is terrifying as it really could of happened to anyone in dozens of countries. There is also a very haunting part in this film where we see the complete innocence of children in a church singing Christmas carols unaware to the danger that they may of possibly been in whilst being overlooked by these priests.

McAdams, Keaton and Ruffalo were all great.

I do feel that at the start of the film it was a bit slow, it did seem to take a bit of time for it to finally kick in and get rolling. I also feel that Liev Schreiber was missing for quite a bit of the film considering it was his character who pushed for this case to be put forward. I found this strange as I thought he'd have taken more of an interest and given a bit more help in this case. Overall I don't have many complaints!

Final verdict: Spotlight = A
A phenomenal film telling a very scary, true event, I highly recommend seeing this film as it is spectacular. I really hope this film does well at the Oscars as it thoroughly deserves to do so.
A must see!

So have you seen Spotlight? If so what did you think of it? If you haven't I hope this review has encouraged you to now go and see it. Once again thank you very much for reading, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor