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Spotlight Film Review

Vanessa de Largie | Milk Bar Magazine | March 17, 2016

American drama Spotlight, written and directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent), conveys the true story of The Boston Globe investigation that caused uproar in one of the world’s oldest institutions – the Catholic Church.

In 2001, Marty Baron joins The Boston Globe as their gutsy new editor. Baron (played convincingly by Liev Schreiber) assigns a group of journalists to investigate allegations against John Geoghan – a priest accused of molesting over eighty young boys.

The group of journalists are portrayed by star-studded cast Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d’Arcy James, who work tirelessly around the clock, interviewing victims and locating sensitive documents, in a bid to shed light on the cover-up of sexual abuse within the church.

Brian d’Arcy James is brilliant as Matt Carroll, bringing eccentricity and humour to the role. One cannot view this film without feeling great respect and admiration for investigative journalists and what their job entails.

The film is as heavy, disturbing and heartbreaking as sexual abuse itself. The darkness of Spotlight stays with you days after you’ve left the cinema, leaving you with countless questions about the validity of organised religion in today’s world. The scandal apparently led to new rules within the church which protect children from paedophile priests, but one has to ponder how many churches continue in much the same way after the fact.

If you have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault, this film may be triggering. I sat through this must-see film once, but once is enough.