Spotlight 2015

Spotlight 2015

Directed by Tom McCarthy 

Starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber  

We continue looking at films that won Academy Awards as the countdown continues to February 24, when this year’s Oscars will be held. I want to talk about the 2015 Best Picture winner Spotlight.

I like movies that center around journalists and how they work to uncover a story. Films like “The Paper”, that also stars Michael Keaton, “All the Presidents Men”, “Veronica Guerin” to name a few movies about journalism that I liked. This film is based on a story about the Catholic church and the conduct of priests. The scandal was how a Cardinal covered incidents of sexual abuse (Wikepedia, 2019). The amazing thing is that when the incidents occurred they just moved them to another parish and kept doing it just to hide what was going on. A pattern of sexual abuse was discovered by the investigation, a pattern that included a large number of dioceses across the United States and many of them were covered up (Wikepedia, 2019). Michael Rezendes who was a part of the investigating team said that the paper was courageous to run with the story because it would have alienated many readers, since Boston was the largest Catholic city in America (Henley, 2010). I have to agree with that statement, they were brave and really made a difference in terms of the church taking a different approach to these situations. 

The movie follows the spotlight team as they look deeper at how the church simply moves priests around when accused of child molestation in the Boston area. Spotlight refers to a division within the newspaper that concentrates on fully investigating a story. As the group gets deeper in the story they are met with many powerful people that just want to keep all secret, from lawyers to even the church. The movie is really hard to based on the subject and the effect of the victims as adults, the movie handles the subject very respectfully, but to see how the church handled the situation and the effect it had on the victims is just sad and worse how lawyers and all those involved acted and covered the whole thing. The movie is really effective in keeping the viewer locked in and even frustrated with the team as they kept hitting a wall as they tried to uncover the truth. 

The cast of this movie was perfect. Headed by the great, and in my opinion, the one that should have won Best Actor in the prior year for his work on Birdman, Michael Keaton leads the cast as the director of the spotlight team. Mark Ruffalo stands out as the most emotional character and the one that seemed most affected by all that they were discovering. The rest of the includes great performances from Stanley Tucci, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber. 

Henley, J. (2010). How the Boston Globe exposed the abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church. Retrieved from

Wikepedia. (2019). Catholic Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal. Retrieved from

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