Spotlight


Actor / writer Tom McCarthy doesn't direct a lot but when he does the product is usually pretty terrific (The Station Agent, The Visitor). McCarthy's is a familiar face and voice, and his films are becoming just as recognizable -- smart ensemble pieces that combine the public and the personal. His latest film, Spotlight, is the story of The Boston Globe's Pulitzer-winning investigation into reports of children being molested by Catholic priests in Boston and the church's efforts to cover up the assaults. Though the Globe had spottily covered one case of a pedophilic priest who was reassigned in the '90s, no follow up reporting was conducted and information forwarded to the paper by survivors and other interested parties was ignored or lost. In 2001, the Globe's investigative team, named Spotlight, was charged with revisiting the matter after the paper's new executive editor arrives from The Miami Herald, reads a column about another predatory priest and asks the question voiced during the Watergate probe: Who knew what and when did they know it? The ensemble of performers is worthy of McCarthy's methodical and engrossing screenplay (written with Josh Singer)  -- Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery and Brian D'Arcy James. His direction is crisp and the design will be familiar to former journos -- and there are many of us -- who know how its feels to get a great story, tell it well, and, hopefully, make the world a better place. Highly Recommended.

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