“Spotlight” is an Oscar-winning film about journalism, about spiritualism, about the power of institutions, and about priests molesting children.
That least piece of the equation might be enough to turn people away, but I can tell you two things that might change your mind if you’ve been delaying seeing the movie:
1. This movie doesn’t actually show any of these acts, nor does it very much “hint” at them with visual tricks like closed doors, creepy touches, etc. The victims in the film are largely adults, dealing with the abuse that occurred years prior. In short, the content of the film is itself digestible.
2. The actors (mostly) keep their performances reserved, while the writing and direction are intelligent in their handling of such a sensitive topic. The characters here are not cartoons, nor is the film particularly “preachy” in its intentions. It’s more concerned with telling a story, and doing it respectfully.
That the film succeeds in these matters is to its credit and makes it a worthwhile winner of 2015’s best picture (and a movie I would recommend to anyone).
On this episode of “The Pursuit of Crappiness,” I’m joined by David Lee Simmons, editor of PopSmartNola to discuss the brilliance of “Spotlight.” As the Academy Award winner for best picture, “Spotlight” gives us a deft telling of an important story, but it goes deeper than basic storytelling. On our podcast, we focus on themes of religion and spirituality, the importance of journalism, the concept of institutions and their characteristics, and more.
Give this one a listen if you can.
Please note: My kids can be noisy. We must all deal.
3:15 – Appeal of “Spotlight” to journalists
9:42 — We’re all investigators
12:15 — Rising above preaching to the audience
21:00 — Attempting to understand the magnitude
24:55 — Wrestling with religious/moral choices
31:08 — Institutions: Formidable, stubborn, glacial
39:45 — Closing thoughts
Here are some links of interest: