Spotlight is a film that will most likely win the Best Picture at this years OSCAR’s and although it would not be my personal choice it is easy to see why; as it ticks all the boxes that the Academy love.

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Based around a group of investigate journalists (played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams & Brian D’Arcy James) known as Spotlight, the film follows the uncovering of the still shocking story of child molestation within the Catholic Church. We get to see the case as it slowly unfolds and feel the reactions of each of the characters as their faith is shaken by the amount of corruption.

The film is fully focused on the story of the journalists – it doesn’t get bogged down by sentimentalism and allows the horror of the situation they are discovering to speak for itself. This only makes the it more dramatic; the fact that we don’t see any of the characters lives outside of their work (apart from the small areas where the two cross over) is also refreshing and allows the focus to remain where it should be.

All of the performances by the cast are entirely naturalistic and believable (if not spectacular) as they act and speak the way real people would in their situations. This again adds to the drama of the film and also helps to make the story relatable in the sense that the molestation could happen to anyone. Ruffalo being the standout performer.

For all its good points however the film falls down on the fact that it’s story is too thin. Looking back on the film you can see that the “investigative” journalism the characters performed was simply looking through some books in the basement and getting hold of some legal documents. Apart from that the film is essentially just interviews with victims of the crimes and characters reacting. Yes it does handle what is a sensitive subject with delicacy and remains to true to what actually happens but their just isn’t enough content to carry the film for its two hour length.

Spotlight is a good film which ticks all the Academy’s boxes but offers little to a general audience. In five years Spotlight will have been forgotten by the mass population and is a film that only those interested in best picture winners will watch. And if it fails to win Best Picture then it will in all likelihood be forgotten completely.

 

7/10 (and a Best Picture Oscar, probably)