Spotlight not only tells one of the most fascinating stories of the year but it also raises the bar for true life adaptations. With some solid performances from a more than capable ensemble and one of the strongest screenplays in the last 10 years, Tom McCarthy just needed to point the camera in the right direction to hit this piece of cinematic gold.
Set in the pumping heart of the newsroom, Spotlight tells the story of the undercover investigative team upon the discovery of child molestation within the Catholic Church. Daring to take on one of the biggest institutions in North America, the group are forced to confront their own beliefs as more and more of the truth is uncovered.
Incredibly new to the director’s chair, Tom McCarthy could easily be seen as one of the most inexperienced directors to take on such a story. Although some are suspecting this could be the one-off wonder of his career, if it is to be this way, it’s certainly a great film to have on the CV.
Incredibly well paced, McCarthy does a great job shining a light on the pressures of journalism, building the drama perfectly as the audience experience the excitement of finding, investigating and eventually putting to bed a story that not only shocks a city, but sends ripples around the world.
The strongest aspect is the immensely impressive screenplay. Daring to tell a difficult story, the audience are forced to tackle the main theme of child molestation head on. Aided in the writing department, McCarthy is joined by John Singer. With previous credits for The West Wing and Fringe, the drama is balanced brilliantly – building intensity through confrontation and conversation rather than violence and action prevalent in today’s cinema.
Without a doubt this is one of the best ensemble casts ever put together. Clearly not lacking in the talent department, the chemistry between each of the characters will immediately draw you in and keep you until the curtains close and the lights come up. Michael Keaton proves that not only can you reignite a career, but that you can come back to be one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. The supporting cast of Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber are equally as mesmerizing as more of the story is uncovered.
Overall, Spotlight provides us with a cinematic experience that defines cinema as a whole. An impressive cast and astounding screenplay both manage to raise the bar and uncover the story behind one of the most intense undercover investigations in journalism history. With excessively good performances from beginning to end, Spotlight is the best film of the year so far. 5 out of 5 stars.