“My mother? She put out frickin’ cookies!”
Mark Twain famously said (something along the lines of) “The only difference between fiction and reality is that fiction needs to be credible.” If Spotlight was a work of fiction, you could imagine people criticising its lack of credibility/believablity. Yet, the scandal Spotlight portrays is not fabricated and therefore, is almost unparalleled in its real world impact.
Spotlight tells the story of a city’s decades-long, unwavering acceptance of God’s representatives. When “evil” was staring a community in the face, it took a group of outsiders to uncover the truth and hold the abusers of power to account. Spotlight is clearly inspired by All the President’s Men but takes on a more painful, if similarly sister, story. Spotlight is by no means a carbon copy and, whilst its characters constantly do, Spotlight doesn’t tred on any toes.
It is rare that a film comes along which feels so vitally important, and it is therefore impressively refreshing that Spotlight is totally lacking in grandstand. Tom McCarthy’s preference for simple, precise, scalpel-storytelling gives Spotlight the perfect tone, one of quiet revelation, contrasting a story that should be shouted from the rooftops. There’s no flash and there are no shouting matches. Spotlight’s impact comes almost exclusively through leaks and disclosures, accepting no substitutions for thorough storytelling.
Liev Schreiber’s Marty Baron says that most of the time journalists are just stumbling about in the dark. Spotlight tells us that even when the light flickers on, people will choose to ignore that which they’d rather not see. The importance, and brilliance, of Spotlight is something that deserves not to be ignored.
Header courtesy of collider and image courtesy of youdontknowjersey.