Spotlight


2015 Best Picture

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Boston newspaper people uncover Catholic child abuse scandals.

This movie made me incredibly sad, but that was balanced out by getting to watch something so well done. It's a great cast although I was never convinced by Michael Keaton's eyebrow's Boston accent. Mark Ruffalo continues his great run with a performance in which a lot is going on, none of it all that obvious. Liev Schreiber continues to fascinate me. Rachel McAdams apparently has no interest in me even though I have my own movie blog. Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, Keaton, and pretty much everybody who has a line in this is really good.

I like how this manages to build even if you know the entire story. You know what they're going to uncover because you watched the news once or twice and sort of believe Brian Williams, but it still manages to shock. Of course, the subject matter--both the Catholic church part and the child abuse part--isn't all that difficult to shock a person with. As I get older and more jaded and more cynical, that shock doesn't come as easily. It's replaced with something closer to despair.

It's the same reason I don't like to watch the news.

But this reminds me of the great dialogue-and-character-driven films of the 70s. There's a little grit with the dialogue, and it's a joy watching the characters' dynamics and listening to the dialogue. I can never remember if I enjoy watching people working in movies or if it wears me out, but I really liked the glimpse at newspapering. Watching the great ensemble cast running around and trying to put pieces together, all that journalistic detective work, was fun even when the subject matter was as troubling as it was.

I have no problem with this winning the Best Picture in what seems to be a pretty weak year.

2 comments:

Josh said...

Yeah, it was a weak year for sure. It definitely wasn't the best movie I'd ever seen, but when subject matter like this is brought to the table, you really hope they do it right. This felt right. This did history justice.

Shane said...

Putting my list of 2015 movies together, it wasn't as bad a year as I thought. Of course, that included my weirdo movies that nobody else likes (Entertainment, The Forbidden Room), and if you just look at what Oscar pays attention to, things do look really weak.