Last week, in my post about “Room”, I mentioned that I hadn’t seen many of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, mainly because I was still waiting for them to come out at a theatre near me. This week, the movie gods were super nice to me and gave me a showing of “Spotlight” right next to my house, at a time when I could actually go see it. Off I went, and I thought it would be a good idea to give a few of my impressions about the Oscar winning picture!
When “Spotlight” won the award on Sunday night, the reaction in my living room was of mostly confused silence. Seeing as we were still waiting for the movie to come out here, most of us only marginally knew what it was about, and were waiting for more talked-about movies to get the big award. However, I do have to say that it was a good thing it won, otherwise I don’t think I would’ve been in such a rush to see it and then I would’ve been missing a great movie that talks about, among other things, media responsibility, a topic of great importance to me as a recent Communications graduate.
One thing that I found particularly interesting about this movie was how they dealt with such a sensitive topic, and one that is based on real events. It would’ve been unfitting for a film that talks about practicing responsible investigative journalism and that often discusses the importance of media responsibility to fall into cheap sensationalism or overdone Hollywood tropes. “Spotlight” felt very concise, nothing was too flashy and there weren’t any unnecessary plots happening in the background. The home lives of the journalists are hinted at, but they never take the focus away from the bigger picture.
I think one of the points in which this movie really stood out was the casting. It’s been a while since I saw such a solid casting, where everyone fell perfectly into their characters. It’s no surprise that it won Outstanding Cast at the SAG Awards, as I felt that everyone was completely in sync with each other and with the movie. I always enjoy Stanley Tucci and Mark Ruffalo is a personal favorite. I’m a big fan of musicals, and so it was nice to see Bryan D’Arcy James playing a good dramatic character that also brought in some moments of much needed comic relief. I could mention everyone that I liked here, but then I would just mention the entire cast and that wouldn’t be very practical, now would it?
Overall, I thought this was an important movie. I can see it being shown in Journalism classes for years to come because of the way that it portrayed how serious and professional reporters should work and behave. There’s a lack of relevance in a lot of what’s currently being published, and even some of the simpler pieces lack basic fact checking. It also brought light to some pressing problems in the Catholic Church, which cannot be forgotten about. I think this is a movie I’ll be re-watching quite frequently, and I definitely recommend it in case you haven’t seen it yet!
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