Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Spotlight Movie Journalism At Its Best

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

I'm trying to recall what I felt January of 2002 when the story broke about the Sexual Abuse Scandal of the Catholic Church. I seem to recall not being very surprised. The idea that hundreds of priests not only molested and defiled thousands of children who trusted them, but that the Catholic Church right up to the Vatican would cover it all up for decades, should have seemed unbelievable; but I remember just thinking, I'm glad this has finally come to light. Not that I had any first, second or third hand knowledge of any of it.  I've never been associated with Catholicism or The Archdiocese of Philadelphia in any way, but I think I wasn't that shocked because there's just something about the whole Institution that's never set right with me.  That's partly why I went out of town during the Pope's visit to Philadelphia extravaganza.  I realize Pope Francis seems to be trying to tear down the old Church and build a new one, but I tend to still align with Dan Brown type novels which shows the Vatican as the throne of powerful evil, greed and secrecy.

I don't however feel celibacy is the cause of the systemic problem of priests and pedophilia. I think people who are already confused about their sexuality are drawn to the church, thinking they can hide there. As a priest they won't be expected to date or marry, so no one will need to question their sexuality, they assume it will never come up.  But of course, psychological issues always eventually raise their ugly head - pun intended.

The movie SPOTLIGHT written and directed by Tom McCarthy,  Win Win (click for T&T 2011 interview with the director) and written by Josh Singer (The West Wing” & “The Fifth Estate") does not focus on the Church or one victim, there's one repeat offending priest that gets the ball rolling, but the movie doesn't focus on him either.  Instead we get to see how the Spotlight Investigative Journalist team at the The Boston Globe handles these types of in depth pieces, which can take up to a year to research and can result in several hard hitting stories.  The team consisted of Walter "Robby" Robinson (Michael Keaton), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Ben Bradlee Jr.,(John Slattery) Matt Carroll (Brian d'Arcy James) and Marty Baron, (Liev Schreiber) who had just taken over as editor of the Globe when he suggested that the investigative team look into the Catholic Church.

It's another great role for Keaton following up last year's Oscar winning hit "Birdman" (click for T&T post). In "Spotlight" he plays a super likable guy with important contacts who treat him like he's a star quarterback.  Except in this case he starts to hit too close to home and a couple of higher ups involved in the scandal try to convince him to "be a team player."

You can tell Ruffalo must have studied Rezendes, creating the speech patterns, walk and mannerism of a dedicated reporter willing to work round the clock to get the information he needs.

Nice role for McAdams who looks 10 years younger, not that she was looking old, she's always gorgeous, but she looks like she's in her early 20's in this movie. It's also nice to see her looking and acting like a real person, instead of the coveted, eye catching object of affection.

Slattery is "Mad Men's" Roger Sterling in slightly less glamorous surroundings. Don't get me wrong I love John Slattery, but he so often plays that privileged white guy who's in charge, but knows very little and does very little, yet is still in the mix.

The most colorful character in the movie is Stanley Tucci as Mitchell Garabedian an eccentric independent lawyer representing a number of the victims in individual cases. Has Tucci's body of work ever been honored? It seems like it's time for him to get a Lifetime Achievement award, just think about how many different types of roles this man has played.

The Oscar buzz for Spotlight started at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Bottom Line: The film's passionate journalistic handling of such a sensitive subject matter, will definitely puts it in the Golden Globe, and Oscar running, but it's got some competition “Steve Jobs,” “Carol,” “The Revenant,” another Boston-shot movie, “Joy” and my personal favorite "Room" (click for T&T post).

T&T's LAMB Score: 4 outta 5

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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