Superbly written, directed, filmed and performed “Spotlight” focuses on the Pulitzer Prize winning team of the Boston Globe, who in early 2002, splayed across the front page the salacious, egregious history of pedophilia practiced among the Catholic priests in the Boston Archdiocese; a clandestine epidemic of mythic proportions.
The “Spotlight” team, all Catholics (Boston, a predominately Catholic city) rose above their allegiance to their religious heritage and exposed close to 70 priests of sexually abusing minors; the “church” protected these miscreants by quietly settling cases of the victims who came forward; either putting the priest on “sick leave” or shuttling them to another parish where the disease continued. The hierarchy knew and did nothing.
Michael Keaton, as editor Walter “Robby” Robinson gives a remarkable depiction of a man who chooses to address the ugliness hiding behind the vestments; equally effective is Mark Ruffalo as Michael Rezendes, a reporter whose intrepidness reveals the depth of the pandemic; Rachel McAdams is poignantly sensitive, insightful as reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, her scenes with the flawed victims resonate with human kindness; Liev Schreiber, editor Marty Baron, is intransigent in perusing truth and determining the timing of the breaking story.
“Spotlight” pivotally touches upon the roots of sex offenders, why these men, representing “God” go astray; celibacy lies at the core of the untoward dilemma; legend has it that since all the first Popes were married, with children, “celibacy” was the solution to eventual nepotism; young boys, placed in a seminary, confronted with puberty, their outlets, limited; results, catastrophic.
Director Tom McCarthy, without sensationalism, with sage illumination, gifts audiences a prescient example of righteousness, vindication resulting from tenacious dedication and research; the preyed upon triumphing the sacrosanct predator.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!