I tend to see a lot of movies at this time of year. When the temperature drops, going to the movie theater is the ideal outing. You can wear pajamas, you're nice and cozy for two hours and though you didn't really do anything, you still feel like you left the house for a legitimate activity. I also tend to use the winter/holiday break to see as many movies before awards season as possible.
I was very excited to see "Spotlight" because it's set in Boston and depicts a time in American history that I remember so clearly. I saw the movie with my parents and when we sat down I turned to them and said, "Let's see how well they pull off the Boston accent."
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you do not want to know anything about the plot of this movie.*
The film stars Michael Keaton as Walter "Robby" Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight team for The Boston Globe. He and his team wind up investigating a series of accusations against priests in local Boston churches, all for sexual abuse. Keaton's character is particularly interesting because he grew up in Boston, went to BC High (a famous Catholic high school) and he still has many friends who are heavily involved in the church.
He tries to keep his personal feelings in check as his team dives deeper and deeper into their leads. The reporter pushing the story forward is Mike Rezendes, played by Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo often plays the rugged, sexy, leading man. In this role he's a an introvert who becomes hyper committed to chasing this story and breaking it in the right way.
He is supported by the only female member of the team, Sacha Pfeiffer, played by Rachel McAdams. Of all the roles I've seen her in (and there have been many) this was pretty underwhelming. She is supposed to feel conflicted because her grandmother goes to Catholic church every Sunday, but it just doesn't come across as sincere.
Liev Schreiber plays Marty Baron, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of The Boston Globe. He arrives just as the Spotlight team is considering taking on this story. I didn't remember the Globe having a new editor when this story broke or that he was Jewish or that the story published so close to September 11th.
While I enjoyed following along as the Spotlight team uncovered more and more evidence and my pulse quickened as the story went to print, I found myself extremely disappointed with the film's ending. As the credits rolled I was wishing that we had seen more of the aftermath of the article. What happened to those priests? What happened in the city of Boston? What happened to those reporters?
For over two hours we followed their every move as they put the pieces together and then we don't get to have any sense of resolution or progress? It was quite frustrating.
Despite my disappointment in the ending, "Spotlight" has received three Golden Globe nominations - Best Motion Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Tune in on Sunday, January 10th to find out if they take home those trophies!