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A Spotlight on Spotlight

Updated on January 11, 2017

A must see film

5 ***** rating system



I wanted to watch a movie that made a statement. Januarys are like that for me. Yes, the romantic comedies are an easy view and the action movies allow you to watch without listening to the script which makes it a dual purpose entertainment tool.

Spotting, Spotlight was an unexpected delight. Spotlight's cast isn't what you would call star studded, but it is what I would call star revered. All the cast members are well respected, content actors. That is always a tip off to me, that the movie has a chance of being deeply thought provoking. And, it was. Any movie that compels me to pay attention to the words is how I often rate a movie. It wasn't that Spotlight was filled with catchy one liners, or heroic court scenes. Spotlight was much like Boston, which is incidentlly where the story took place. Catch the message and impact of the message if you will, but I ain't spellin' it out for ya.

The story revolves around "The Boston Globe" one of Boston's most prominent newspapers. The paper is not only known for getting the story, but getting the whole story. Within the "Globe" is an elite team of investigative reporters who choose one subject they want to cover, or uncover as it goes in the newspaper business. The investigative reporters may even take over a year to investigate the story, which I thought had a uniqueness in a storyline I hadn't seen. Michael Keaton was the actor who played the in-charge reporter. He headed the team as they say. I liked his style. I liked how he depicted how a man who headed an elite team of investigaters would dress and sit. I thought, that's a boss I'd like to work for. Watching Keaton, you come away with the feeling that he studied the part, which I suppose may lead to his respect in the movie industry.

I also liked the way the movie portrayed a change in management. Spotlight begins with the retirement of the managing editor and the "new boss in town" scenario. The change in command was an easy, smooth transition. No whining about how we always do things, and we never do that, or you don't know a thing, and we know it all, we are the seasoned employees here, how dare you come and tell us what to do. In fact, not one employee made a judgement about the new guy-good, or bad. I liked the subtleness of that. It was a pleasant reminder of how things should be done.

Additionally, there were no torrid office affairs, no personal relationship break-ups at home, no kids got a cold, can't get the job done. It was professionalism in its' purest form. Not one reporter mentioned his personal relationships. And, although the reporters had obviouly worked for years together, they had no conversations of "life at home." It was refreshing. Don't get me wrong "life at home" conversations are fine with me, friendships flourish with them. Nevertheless, it was, to me, a Bostonian characterization. The importantance of who they were as members of the elite. Spotlight's theme didn't beat you over the head. It weaved its way throughout the movie, allowing you to come to the conclusion at the end of the story.

The irony of the Bostonian staff is that Bostonians are typically characterized for their abrasive behaviorisms. Yet, after watching Spotlight you come away with the, "oh yeah feeling." That is who Bostonians are. At least, that was my take on it.

As you can tell, I liked Spotlight. I liked Spotlight for many reasons. Incidentally, the movie did win an academy award for best picture. And, the investigative team and Boston Globe won a pulitzer for the story. Only, I have never heard of the film. I don't recall seeing advertisements for Spotlight. Now, Frozen, that I remember. Olaf and Elsa, and their wonderous song were a household name. What does that say about us? Maybe nothing, maybe something. Just a subtle observation.

Close to ninety Roman Catholic priests molesting young boys for decades. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to keep the subject hidden from you. It was just that there were so many other things to speak of, I lost track of the significance, the important parts, the ramifications of withholding the truth, the seemingly apathy in our behavior. We keep hearing the statistics, the mounting statistics. Yet, for some unknown reason we can't quite do anything about it.

My personal favorite part of the movie is when two reporters who stopped going to chuch, spoke of how they thought that one day, one day, all those churches throughout our country will be as they were intended to be and then they'd go back. It is kinda like the observation of the vacant public parks. Bright, enticing colorful slides and swings, yet no kids. Plenty of arrests for drug dealing. But, no innocent laughing young boys and girls. Not worth the risk, is it?

Maybe is wasn't a cover up at all. Maybe, it was just that no one knew how to undo the horror that was done to those children. Prevention is key. But, how does one prevent such an ungodly act in the holiest of places.

God help me, I don't know. Jail. But, who would preach the Sunday sermon?

Spotlight ended with the phones ringing off the hook in the Boston Globe newsroom on a Sunday morning just after Christmas and New Year. The callers, they were all more victims wanting to believe that they would be believed. To my knowledge, no priests or prominent government officials called with their thoughts on how to irradicate this from society. The head of the Boston Catholic church was resigned, or reassigned. No offers to help the victims were phoned in, either.

Is that the real story?

rated: *****


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